How Governing Boards Can Drive Excellent Healthcare Experiences

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This week on the Healthcare Experience Matters podcast, we’re discussing the role that governing boards play in the ongoing quest to elevate patient experiences in the modern and ever-changing healthcare environment. Our guests this week include Laura S. Orr, MHA, CEO of FORWARD Governance Consulting, and Katie Owens, President of the Healthcare Experience Foundation. We delve into insights from an article co-written by Laura and Katie, titled ‘The Board’s Role in Care Experience,’ recently published in the American Hospital Association’s “Trustee Insights” Publication.

You can read the article here:

We are pleased to welcome Laura back for her third appearance on our podcast. She is the Founder and CEO of Forward, a firm dedicated to helping executive leaders and governing bodies drive organizational success. You can catch up on the first two podcasts with us here:

Today’s interview delves into the importance of the board’s involvement in shaping the patient’s experience, providing valuable insights into the key takeaways from the article they co-authored. Both Katie and Laura highlight the significance of the healthcare experience continuum, encompassing patient, family, staff, and provider experiences.

The discussion unfolds with Laura providing a high-level overview of the article, emphasizing the need for boards to focus on the broad healthcare experience continuum. Katie adds her reflections, commending Laura’s nationally recognized leadership in governance and the collaboration between Forward and the Healthcare Experience Foundation in promoting healthcare experience improvement strategies.

As the discussion progresses, our podcast host, Casey Callanan, asks about strategies to address staff turnover and the board’s role in that, given its prevalence in today’s healthcare environment and its potential impact on the healthcare experience. Katie emphasizes the role of culture starting at the top and discusses the importance of collaboration between management and the board to create a positive work environment. Laura chimes in, offering tangible steps for individual board members to positively impact staff turnover.

The conversation then shifts to the inclusion of patient and staff experiences in the quality plan, with Laura stressing the need for clear metrics, transparency, and accountability. Katie expands on strategies such as visibility rounding and recognition programs to build connections between the board and staff.

The interview concludes with insights from both guests on building trust, transparency, and employee engagement to counter low staff morale. Katie underscores the importance of reframing messaging and recognition programs, emphasizing the board’s role in creating positive momentum.

Throughout the episode, Laura and Katie provide practical advice for boards and individual members to enhance patient experiences, underscoring the crucial role governance plays in shaping the future of healthcare. We encourage listeners to explore the article for more actionable insights after listening to today’s interview.

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

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Meet Laura Orr

Laura Orr is the Founder and CEO of Forward, a firm dedicated to helping executive leaders and governing bodies drive organizational success.

Laura Orr is an accomplished executive leader with nearly twenty years of operations, strategic planning, and board governance experience and she has deep expertise in facilitation and leadership coaching. Before founding FORWARD, Laura served in various leadership roles, most recently as Chief Strategy and Governance Officer at Children’s Wisconsin.

Connect with Laura Orr