Susan E. Mazer, Ph.D. Blog

Thoughts and ideas on healthcare

Hi, and welcome to my blog! I'm Susan E. Mazer -- a knowledge expert and thought leader on how the environment of care impacts the patient experience. Topics I write about include safety, satisfaction, hospital noise, nursing, care at the bedside, and much more. Subscribe below to get email notices so you won't miss any great content.

The Experience Ecosystem and The Patient Experience

April 19, 2019

The patient experience (PX) has grown past its childhood into a movement that is necessary to transform into its next iteration.

The Beryl Institute’s 2019 Patient Experience Conference provided an opportunity for over 1,200 attendees to explore the Experience Ecosystem. This ecosystem is a framework that outlines each “lens” that informs the patient experience. However, the framework is simply a framework and offers both opportunities and challenges.

What is an Ecosystem?

An ecosystem is a “community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system.[2] It is neither stagnant nor without definition. It is inclusive and exclusive. It is continually protecting itself and in conflict with itself, the nature of evolution.”

Thus, the Experience Ecosystem offers an opportunity to see the whole system that is the human experience. These lenses actively influence each other. None of them operate in isolation nor can one thrive without all the others thriving. It is the inter-connectedness of all things (people, places, events, and more) that inform thepatient experience.

Further, there is no permanence that is the patient experience, even for an individual patient.  Therefore, those of us working within the space that has become the patient experience will continue to evolve.

The “Care Team” in an Ecosystem

While the “care team” includes everyone involved with each patient, the Ecosystem goes further in that each interaction is informed by the one before it; the environment in which these interactions occur, informs the experience.

This, the Experience Ecosystem focuses on the interdependence of each member, each person, and each patient. The clinical factors and non-clinical factors unify within the patient experience: housekeeping, dietary, admitting, security, volunteers, aides, assistants, the lab, facilities management, nurses, physicians, lab techs, and others all unite around the patient.

An Ecosystem, especially one that is lived moment to moment, protects itself and functions as a whole.  Still, we may not fully realize that for the patients, the experience, the hospital, the healthcare system, and the people caring for them are one unified team of care.

Why the Patient Environment Matters

The Patient Environment is a human and organizational system that influences behaviors, outcomes, and attitudes. The PX Environment is built and designed to serve an individual whose capacity to adapt is already compromised by their acuity.

The Experience Ecosystem unifies the patient and environment into a single system making them inseparable. Meaning, there is no “Set it and forget it!” factor. We must be vigilant observers of this ecosystem, adjusting and optimizing as needed.

Stay Tuned…

A blog is designed to be short and sweet, and this topic is neither. It needs a more in-depth discussion. However, it is exciting to take a new view and use a stronger paradigm to understand the complexities of the human experience.

Right now, I invite you to take a deep breath…

Look around you…

Know that what you see around you informs how and who you are in this moment.

What you hear and what it means to you integrates into this moment of you.

It is so for every patient for whom you care.

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