JEFF BOSKER: As we go forward, we need to create a culture, to create an environment in our health care organizations where the patient experience becomes hardwired. And we do that by recruiting the best, the brightest, individuals who have this in their DNA and in their makeup. We do this by providing training programs, such as Patient Experience Boot Camp, where all employees go through a program so that everyone is speaking the same language and what it means to take care of patients.
And we do this finally by making sure that all of our employees put themselves in the shoes of our patients. What is it like to be lying in that hospital bed? What is it like to be caring for a loved one who is going through a very challenging experience? And when you put all that together, that's when I think we're going to start to really see an improvement in patient experience going forward.
The challenge is it really starts from the beginning. And historically, we have not done a very good job at creating an environment where it's about the patients. It starts with education and programs. And when you look at individuals who are running health care institutions, they tend to have more of a business background, or they tend to come from the clinical side and be a doctor or a caregiver. They don't tend to be hospitality experts, feel-good type of individuals and leaders.
The front line caregivers, people who go into health care, they are certainly inspired to make a difference in the lives of others. But the culture has not always been there. And the institute that we are putting together here at Cornell University in health care and hospitality has the ability to set from the start, from the groundwork, to build future leaders who are going to have these business concepts, have these hospitality concepts hardwired from day one when they hit the ground.
It's very challenging to run an organization while keeping up on industry best practices and trying to constantly raise the bar. And oftentimes when you are in an organization, you're so busy putting out fires, you're so busy trying to survive as an organization in a very challenging economic climate, in particular with health care reimbursement shrinking. So to have a forum, to have a venue such as this institute where industry leaders could go to receive industry trends, best practices, what are others doing, what are individuals in an organization doing that they could share with others, will really have tremendous value.
And we're going to need to figure out a way to gear this towards very busy professionals, to make it easy. People are not going to want to go into multiple sites, enter multiple passwords. They're going to want the information at their fingertips.
And we're also going to have to figure out-- one size isn't going to be good for everyone, so we have to figure out the different segments, whether it be senior living and go here for this information, whether it be hospital executives going here for this information, whether it be insurance industry leaders going here for this information. So I do think it's going to have tremendous value to get the word out and really help shift the paradigm of how we deliver health care.
Employees can't be committed to taking care of patients unless they are taken care of themselves. And we have a variety of programs at the organization where I work, at New York Presbyterian Hospital, geared towards making sure our employees, our caregivers are able to put life's challenges on hold for the several hours that they are taking care of patients and commit themselves to caring for the individual who is lying in that hospital bed, for caring for their families, the loved ones that are surrounding the individual in their hospital bed. That is very difficult. But that is-- when we talk about culture, we talk about engagement, if you don't have that, if employees don't feel that they're taken care of, that they can put life's challenges on hold for the hours that they're at work, then hospitality in health care is not going to. work. So whatever concepts, whatever programs that we come up with for the future, number one it's going to have to make sure that employees get behind it, employees support it, and as part of the concepts, that we're not only thinking about patients, we're thinking about the caregivers who are carrying out these concepts and how their needs are going to be met.
One of the exciting initiatives that we have recently launched at my organization is a program called Patient Experience Fridays. And this builds upon the concepts that we rolled out in Patient Experience Boot Camp when employees first start. Every Friday, our leadership team comes together across the organization and we share experiences that are happening throughout the organization, what's working well in how we're taking care of our patients, and opportunities for improvement. We learned that while patients and families, they're coming to our organization because they know they're going to get the best care-- they're going to refer their friends, their family members. Miracles are happening every single day. The tagline in my organization is "amazing things are happening here."
But when we asked our patients about their experience, they shared with us challenges around caregivers communicating to them, cleanliness of the environment that they are being taken care of in, quietness and being able to get sleep and heal while they were in the hospital. And we know that if we are truly going to be a leader in health care and hospitality, we have to fix these concepts. And that's why we've put together Patient Experience Boot Camp, Patient Experience Fridays, to really understand what's going on, what are the opportunities for improvement, if we're doing something well in one area, how do we spread that across all of our departments and all of our hospitals?
The future for health care and hospitality is endless, and it is just getting started. There is a lot of uncertainty in health care. But one thing for sure is that there are always going to be opportunities for bright-minded Cornellians who are coming out of this university and entering the workforce. And while many of the students don't realize it now, what the students learn at Cornell and the ability to experience programs in many different aspects of this school, creating a well-rounded individual will be head and shoulders above the rest of graduates from any other program coming out.
And I see this today. When we hire students from Cornell University, what they bring to the table is truly differential, and has made tremendous impacts at our organization and differences in the lives of others. So keep with what you're doing. The future is bright for all graduates entering health care.
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Jeff Bokser, MHA '01, vice president of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, discusses the future of patient-centric care and his experience helping create a hospital culture that focuses on the patient experience. Efforts such as "Patient Experience Fridays" at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital bring together the leadership team to share what is working well in terms of patient care/experience and opportunities for improvement.