By Jason A. Wolf, PhD, CPXP
President, The Beryl Institute
I am honored to join the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network this May for your #MCSMN Member Meeting. While I am excited to share my thoughts on patient experience excellence and continue to stretch the thinking of what is now an Era of Experience, I would be remiss if I did not express my anticipation for what I look to learn from all participating.
Speaking of participating, I hope you'll start by taking this online survey in advance of the Member Meeting, even if you're not able to attend. It has different questions for those on the delivery side of healthcare as well as consumers of health care, so I hope you'll also share the link to the survey on your personal and organizational social media platforms so we can compare the expectations of both groups.
The power of a conversation on experience is just that. The willingness to be in the moment of interaction – personal and intimate, connected and compassionate – is what lies at the heart of the patient experience conversation.
At the very foundation of the definition of patient experience itself is “the sum of all interactions.” This calls us to consider two things, both a personal and collective connection. This is exemplified in today’s rapid expansion of social media, not only for personal purposes but for what I would suggest are life purposes.
What once was a world of physical proximity bridged across geographies through connective technology such as phones or other forms of communication has emerged to what I see as a world of social proximity.
For the first time we may have closer and more deeply rooted connections with someone we know halfway around the world than we have with our next door neighbors. This social proximity has changed the playing field of communication and has also opened up new, broad and rapid avenues for information sharing and seeking, opinion giving and hearing. These have become the means by which others learn about, understood and even make judgments about us and our organizations.
Herein lies perhaps the greatest opportunity for healthcare today: Understanding that what was once a community-based industry now lives in a global community grounded in social proximity.
The experience we strive to provide for our patients, communities and employees may be our biggest lever in a world of social proximity. If we see experience as it is from the consumer of care's perspective – where quality, safety, service, cost and outcomes all represent your organization and their encounter with it – then we must act with the recognition that experience is the means by which, if we can ever truly say this is possible, we “control” our social presence.
It isn't just the outgoing messages we can help to shape through our actions. We must be diligent to monitor, respond to and act on what we learn in the social space as well. In the new world of research, your Twitter feed is data; your Facebook chatter is valuable intelligence. In fact it is perhaps a gift in that you now are hearing things you may have never been able to know before. The opportunity is then to act on what you learn and engage in what you discover.
To further explore this topic for the #MCSMN Member Meeting and beyond we want to ask a few more questions of both members of healthcare organizations and consumers of care. I hope you will take a few minutes to engage in our survey as we continue to push the boundaries of the conversation on social media and patient experience.
If you too believe our world has shifted due to the new means by which we connect and engage, and if you recognize the new order of social proximity that is linking people around the world in ways we may have never anticipated, then it is truly time to give a tweet. What we can learn, do and accomplish as a result may lead to some of the greatest contributions to healthcare yet.
Editor's Note: Learn more about how you can attend Dr. Wolf's keynote address at the #MCSMN Member Meeting!