A Year in Review: 2021 and the Healthcare Experience

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As we turn the corner towards a new year, many healthcare organizations are asking, “What’s next and where do we set our priorities and focus?”

It is no secret that 2021 has been a difficult year for many people. For a second consecutive year, our healthcare systems have been tested in unprecedented ways. Despite these issues, there are always reasons for hope.

On today’s podcast we look back on this tumultuous year. While it is evident these challenges will not be solved overnight, taking time to reflect can be a step in the right direction.

We are joined by Katie Owens, Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) co-founder and president, for today’s interview. We discuss takeaways from 2021 while we also look forward towards 2022 and share reasons to be optimistic. 

Katie has been a familiar voice for listeners of this podcast. Other popular episodes with Katie joining Healthcare Experience Matters include: 

  • Strategies for Avoiding Blame, Judgement, and Negativity 
  • Tackling Compassion Fatigue
  • The Conversation Curve™ for Navigating Conflict 
  • Physician Engagement, Communication and Results Sharing  
  • CARES™ for Consistent Patient Experiences
  • Today’s podcast wraps up 2021 by reflecting on what has worked for organizations. As discussed, helping healthcare teams move beyond one of the most uncertain periods we have ever experienced is a lofty, yet attainable goal. 

    Katie also discusses some of the trends HXF saw across our field last year while working with extraordinary healthcare organizations and leaders. 

    “I think the number one trend that we’ve seen among those we worked with, is going back to basics,” Katie said. “We’ve seen organizations go back to focusing on restoring resilience and engagement.” 

    As the new year rolls in, it will be crucial for organizations to better recognize signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue and burnout. There must be a collaborative effort to interject resiliency solutions.  

    “We’ve seen a focus on restoring leadership visibility and rounding as a tool to support the workforce,” Katie said. 

    A lot has changed since 2019 when it comes to stability within the workforce.  

    “91% of hospital executives have had to hire traveling or agency nurses this past year due to the pandemic, versus about 60% of hospitals and health care systems back in 2019,” Katie said.

    This brings a strong need for creative onboarding strategies to help orient these temporary team members so they feel equipped for success. 

    Teambuilding can be a massive challenge when team members are constantly changing, but the need for adaptive strategies to meet these challenges head-on will be important for organizations in 2022 and beyond. 

    Restoring physician engagement and physician loyalty was another trend Katie discussed with us on today’s podcast. 

    Organizations will have their hands full of challenges in 2022, but physician loyalty simply cannot be neglected. Building trust will also be key for organizations. 

    “Other key trends that we’ve seen is the need to focus for your medical staff around demonstrating an excellent patient experience, excellent nursing care, and building administration-physician trust so that physicians feel they are involved in strategic and operational decisions,” Katie said.

    Towards the end of today’s interview, Katie leaves us with a powerful quote to think about from Dr. George Mayzell:

    “Never let a let a crisis not be a catalyst for great opportunity.”

    Learn More

    Listen to the entire podcast interview with Katie: 

    Please take the time to listen to more episodes of Healthcare Experience Matters by subscribing for free on our YouTube page, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or anywhere you get your favorite podcasts! 

    Other episodes of our podcast we encourage you to check out are as follows:

  • Supporting Team Members in Unprecedented Times
  • Reflections of Transformation from a Physician Leader to Patient and Back
  • Practicing Mindfulness for Better Patient Experiences
  • Empathy and Communication for Better Patient Experiences

  • More HX Matters Podcasts

    Our podcast is dedicated to transforming the health care experience so that every person can receive and deliver the best care.

    You can subscribe to our podcast for free on all major podcast platforms and for video of our interviews, you can always check out the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) on YouTube. Catch up on all episodes of our podcast by subscribing and following us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music and more.

    Meet Katie Owens

    Katie believes that the way we deliver and receive healthcare matters—not just for the patients, but for the caregivers, the providers, and administration, too.

    As President of the Healthcare Experience Foundation, Katie is taking bold steps to assure that every organization has access to resources for engaging patients and developing their workforce to achieve results. Katie is an innovator, implementing new ways to deliver the best in patient-centered care.

    She has influenced hundreds of organizations and thousands of leaders to equip their cultures and instill competencies that create environments of person-centered excellence. Her fundamental tenet is that every person is worthy of an environment where they feel confident in receiving and delivering the best possible care. Known as a leader among leaders, Katie previously served on the HealthStream Leadership Team as Vice President of the Engagement Institute. She also served on the Baptist Health Care (BHC) leadership team in Pensacola, Florida, where she supported the system’s sustained journey to excellence. Katie has led teams of expert coaches dedicated to improving the quality of the patient experience and has been instrumental in creating leading-edge learning assets to support patient experience competencies. She is most proud of having grown Baptist Leadership Group to one of the most respected healthcare coaching practices in the country before being acquired by HealthStream in 2013.

    Katie is the lead author of The HCAHPS Imperative for Creating Patient-Centered Excellence and is currently writing her second book about the importance of speaking the patient’s language. She is frequently quoted and has been published in the Huffington Post, Healthcare Financial Management Magazine and Hospitals and Health Networks. She is an energetic, internationally-recognized speaker and has presented for many highly-respected organizations, including American College of Healthcare Executives, Beryl Institute, Cleveland Clinic’s Empathy Summit, Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, and Healthcare Financial Management Association.

    Connect with Katie Owens
    More episodes with Katie Owens