“It’s About the Experience”: Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Case Studies

gq-logoAnchored by one of the USA’s premier teaching hospitals, Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago, the Northwestern Medicine health system is comprised of two hospitals and more than 23 outpatient locations where the workforce interacts with patients, families, visitors and one another – shaping the patient experience in direct and indirect ways. Our longstanding commitment to our Patients First mission shapes our business goals. While Northwestern Memorial enjoys a reputation as one of the top destinations for care and service in the Midwest, we are constantly striving to improve.

The patient’s experience has become more important to USA hospitals than ever before. As a result of healthcare reform, a portion of hospital reimbursement is now tied directly to patient satisfaction scores and patients have a greater ability to choose where they receive care. Longterm vitality in the current healthcare marketplace means that we want patients to choose us, we want them to choose us again, and we want them to have an experience that they can recommend to others.

While operational leaders focused on the delivery of care at the local level, our idea was to create an organizational conversation to support the unit-based efforts and go beyond that to connect the larger health system workforce and elevate awareness around the idea that the patient experience belongs to all of us, clinical and nonclinical alike. We wanted to create an opportunity for engagement around participatory discussion, the sharing of ideas and listening to one another and our patients – tactics we felt could refresh the organizational narrative that drives our Patients First mission.

Several years prior, we successfully moved organizational communication in our 24/7 environment online with a multichannel network of tools including Connections, our 24/7 health system news site; a new Intranet; digital signage; and online newsletters for targeted audiences. We chose to launch a special digital microsite linked to Connections for this project with numerous tactics to create awareness and drive participation and engagement with the site.