As the Office of Patient Experience continues to focus on the delivery of safe, high-quality, compassionate, and equitable care, its strongest asset is often data—the power to harness big data and analytic tools to question the current state and drive toward a future state. 2020 was a year that challenged all of these norms and status quo, and the Office of Patient Experience’s Data Strategy Team used multiple strategies to adapt to the crisis.
Mount Sinai's clinical staff all year navigated the trauma, challenges, and constant changes that the COVID-19 pandemic brought. At the same time, the Data Strategy Team provided timely data on goals, rankings, and timelines for progress, without making numbers the main focus.
“Patient Experience is often thought of as laden with reports and numbers that tell the stories of our patients’ perceptions of care every day. But we knew that delivering reports to the emails of our front-line caregivers was not what was needed,” says Tara Villon, Director of Patient Experience Data Strategy and Improvement, Mount Sinai Health System. “We had to shift focus away from the numbers to support what mattered most—safety, staff wellness, and our core values.”
“In this light, the Data Strategy team elevated the positive patient comments to support staff wellness efforts and boost morale. The patient feedback during this time was incredibly validating—there was a keen awareness of the unprecedented crisis and a deep appreciation for staff commitment and our caregivers,” Ms. Villon says. “Reading the words of our patients, some directly affected by COVID, was very emotional. But it affirmed how our patients come to us in these extraordinary moments—and our care teams keep them safe, heal them, and they do it all with compassion.”
The Data Strategy Team, composed of Ms. Villon, Shankar Venkatachalam, and Laryssa Boyko, created monthly Positive Patient Comment Memos that were distributed to each hospital across Mount Sinai. These positive patient comments were selected from the thousands of returned surveys Mount Sinai receives every day. The stories highlighted the impact the crisis had across all care settings: of patients being admitted to the hospital (some with COVID-19), to those being treated in the ED, or ambulatory sites, or seen virtually for care. These comments were available for leaders to share with their staff in venues such as team huddles, rounds, Town Halls, and broadcast emails. And they provided some defense to combat the fatigue and grief that many front-line staff members were experiencing during the height of the pandemic.
“Our Office’s Data Strategy team is integral to our patient experience work across the Health System. They combine the power of numbers and trends with emotional intelligence: they have a compassionate data strategy, grounded in easy to understand and motivating data that supports our care teams to stay focused on what is most impactful,” says Erica Rubinstein, MS, LCSW, CPXP, Vice President, Service Excellence and Patient Experience, Mount Sinai Health System. “They firmly believe that data should not be a barrier, but a supportive tool that surfaces the voices that matter most in health care: our patients.”
“My experience was good and allowed me to have peace of mind throughout my
affliction. The instructions were precise and simple to follow. Excellent manners and concern for the patient's health and wellness.”
– Mount Sinai West, Cardiology
Patient Experience Analyst
Laryssa Boyko, MPH
Patient Experience Operations Coordinator
Director of Patient Experience Data Strategy and Improvement