Chapter 4

Describing the Elephant: Defining the Patient Experience and Strategy

A solid definition of the patient experience is elusive. But before we can improve it, we need to have a working definition of how to think about it. There are two reasons why a concise definition is critical. First, we must define the patient experience for patients regarding what is important; otherwise patients will define it for us. Generally, patients are unsophisticated healthcare consumers. A particular experience equates to quality in a patient’s mind. Patients often use proxies to judge our effectiveness. These proxies are things they do understand and can easily relate to their personal experience. We need to make sure that they pick the right proxies or ...

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