Innovate to engage

3 thoughts on creating a better patient experience

An inventor and customer experience expert shares insights on patient care.


With their holistic approach and background in considering the whole patient, DOs are uniquely positioned to help innovate the patient experience at their places of employment, says Nicholas J. Webb, director of the Center for Health Innovation at Western University of Health Sciences and author of “What Customers Crave.”

Following his keynote address at OMED 2018, Webb shared with The DO three ways osteopathic physicians can get started on elevating the patient experience.

Divide patients into personas

Patients should be divided into a range of personas, according to Webb. “Who are they? What do they love? What do they hate? It’s not about market demography. It’s not about the ways in which we pay for our services. It’s about the things that we hate and the things that we love.” Understanding patients at that level will lead to developing ideas to create better patient experiences.

Develop a formal plan

Webb suggests creating a formal plan in order to assess the impact of your efforts. “Failing to plan is planning to fail. Innovation and patient experience should really be a part of a formal plan,” Webb said. The process of developing that plan begins with a thorough assessment of the current baseline level of patient expectations, and then focusing on concrete steps to take institutionally to create “beautiful patient experiences.”

Think osteopathically

When it comes to DOs, “I’ve never ran across a more innovative bunch,” Webb says. “Remember that you are an innovator, and all you have to do is leverage your incredible genius and active observation and turn that into patient value. The best practices and the best caregivers are leveraging the humanity of health care. And that’s really part of what DOs are all about. They’ve always had patient-centrism at their core, and now they are in the right place at the right time.”

For further reading:

Inventor and futurist to speak on next wave of health care technology at OMED

Cancer expert to speak on drug prices at OMED 2018


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