Our patients’ well-being is our ultimate goal. They come to our clinics, fill out our forms and are treated by our specialists. Yet too often they leave our clinics with their questions and concerns unknown.
What if we evaluated the patient experience and how it could be different?
What if we encouraged patients to voice their concerns and ask questions?
What if we acknowledged that our patients should expect more?
At the Wayne State University Physician Group, we are addressing those questions by giving patients a voice and empowering them to help us make changes at an operational level. In October 2013, we contacted 15 patients who expressed grievances about their WSUPG experience. Ten patients expressed an interest in joining our new Patient and Representative Advisory Council.
The council was created to understand our patients’ health care experience through personal stories, and included a variety of ages, ethnicities and medical diagnoses. The council met with top leadership nearly every month for one year to discuss concerns, address areas in need of improvement and offer new ideas. Discussions were open, honest and productive, and multiple initiatives are being implemented or evaluated.
New councils will delve deeper into specialty-driven experiences.
“When I was asked [by WSUPG] to join the Patient and Representative Advisory Council, I felt like my voice would finally be heard. How can a doctor or company know the way a patient feels unless they’re told? WSUPG knew they needed to hear the patient’s story, and I was eager to share mine.
I truly believe this initiative could serve as an example to other health care groups. To me, the council is a stepping stone to bridging the communication gap between doctor and patient. That bridge will take some time to build, but WSUPG has shown me they are investing in their patients, closing the gap and improving the overall health care experience.”
WSUPG patient, Patient and Representative Advisory Council member
In appreciation, members of the Patient and Representative Advisory Council received a
commemorative plaque from Wayne State University Physician Group at a luncheon Dec. 11, 2014.