What healthcare can learn from theme parks. Yes, theme parks


Originally published in FierceHealthcare

By Steven Merahn and Cynthia Sharpe

There is an emerging recognition in healthcare of the power of experience to affect our capacity to improve both the process and outcomes of care.

Patients who feel a sense of ease, clarity and connection in their interactions with their physicians are likely to be more communicative about their needs and more accepting of their doctor’s recommendations.

Providers who are not distracted by nonclinical tasks and stressors are able to more fully focus on the needs of their patients. In short, a better experience for all means healthier patients.

 Yet our systems of care are still designed around the needs of the organization over those of patients, who have to struggle with labyrinthine phone menus or complicated websites to access care. Then there’s the corral-like waiting areas, exam rooms where you wait in a paper gown and staff who can’t make eye contact while they focus on entering data into a computer.

The consequences of poorly designed or considered experiences is increasingly recognized as part of the process of care delivery, as seen the rise of new titles in health systems: chief experience officer (CXO) or vice president of patient experience. Whatever you call them, these are executive-level positions that are empowered to move health institutions toward improving patient experience.

Read the full article at FierceHealthcare

Steven Merahn, M.D., is a managing director at Thinkwell Group and has extensive experience as an executive for marketing agencies and large-scale health systems. Cynthia Sharpe is a principal, museums and cultural attractions at Thinkwell Group.