Transforming the Patient and Family Experience at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Mad*Pow became CCHMC’s trusted partner in leading an effort to build empathy with patients and gain  a nuanced, in-depth understanding of what children and families go through as they cope with acute and chronic conditions.

TRANSFORMING THE PATIENT AND FAMILY EXPERIENCE

Mission: A respectful, intuitive, empathetic and stress-free experience is a right and expectation of all patients and family members. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, one of the premier pediatric hospitals in the world, embarked on a journey to ensure that patient experience remains a core focus as they evolve and grow.

Mad*Pow became CCHMC’s trusted partner in leading an effort to build empathy with patients and gain  a nuanced, in-depth understanding of what children and families go through as they cope with acute and chronic conditions. Mad*Pow, in collaboration with a dedicated internal team, defined and envisioned short and longterm strategic objectives for the executive leadership team to shape the future of the hospital.

Methodology:

Context is key and understanding each patient’s unique situation and the challenges of everyday life is necessary to uncover unmet needs and the emotions that drive behavior. In order to capture the current patient experience in all its complexity and variation, Mad*Pow designed a three-pronged methodological approach.

Two conditions, one chronic and one acute, were selected to follow in specific detail. These two conditions would, by their very nature, involve convoluted care journeys with multiple specialties, departments, procedures, and complications. Mad*Pow used 3 methods to capture true life experiences:

  • Live, in-the-moment, on-location observations: 
    7 Mad*Pow staff performed 240 hours of on-location observation and “secret shopping.” One of the best ways to understand what is going on is to live it yourself. Mad*Pow’s experience audit team captured patient engagement touchpoints from early awareness of marketing assets and first- time visiting challenges such as parking and navigation all the way through specific medical registrations, procedures, discharges and outpatient services. Mad*Pow’s audit team utilized hidden, micro camera technology to capture images, audio and video for reporting back to executive sponsors.
     
  • Staff shadowing, on location and in the moment:
    Shadowing staff throughout their usual daily activities and interviewing them “on the fly,” removed unnecessary formalities and promoted open, candid responses. Being able to talk about a challenge, such as a physical limitation or technical obstacle, and see it live, in real time, allowed Mad*Pow to understand and empathize with staff and advocate for them effectively
     
  • Longitudinal, 5-week, digital patient journal study: 
    A single day in the life of a person managing a condition or dealing with a traumatic injury sheds light on specific challenges, but can never capture all of the trials and tribulations associated with managing health and wellness. For this reason, Mad*Pow utilized a long-term digital journal method to capture those patient and family experiences in greater depth, not for a single moment of observation, but every day for over a month. Mad*Pow empowered patients to record what they felt was most impactful and important, both good and bad experiences, thereby opening a window into their lives.

Outcomes:

Mad*Pow helped build empathy for patients and providers to create better alignment between business objectives and patient and family needs, focusing systemic investments on high impact, high value initiatives. This work kept the leadership conversation focused on the patient experience, positive outcomes and long-term, high-impact investment to maintain a competitive edge and provide the care that patients expect and deserve.

Mad*Pow helped develop methodologies and internal practices of research, reflection and analysis for continued internal improvement and change management.