Improving the quality of the patient experience has become an imperative for healthcare organizations. Value-based payment models include patient perception data, and a negative experience can impact an organization’s finances. Sustainable improvement requires more than quick-fix cosmetic enhancements, ‘flavor-of-the-month’ service trainings, or bonuses for front-line staff. Organizations must actually improve the patient experience. Doing so requires a culture of accountability and a systematic framework for collecting and acting on patient perception data.

This article revisits Mayo Clinic Arizona's (MCA) "7-prong" model for improving service quality: (1) multiple data sources to drive improvement; (2) accountability; (3) service consultation and improvement tools; (4) service values and behaviors; (5) education and training; (6) ongoing monitoring and control; and (7) recognition and reward. The focus of this article is Prong 2, creating and sustaining a culture of accountability for acting on service quality data to improve the patient experience.

The model has demonstrated efficacy in specialty and primary care areas. Based on our experience since the model’s publication six years ago, we still contend that a comprehensive approach to improvement produces the best results. We have fine-tuned our approaches to leadership engagement, data transparency, reporting and accountability processes to ensure action on the data, and leveraging the committee structure and front-line staff. To help other organizations on their patient experience journey, we share the methodologies, tools and resources used to create and advance the culture of accountability for patient experience at MCA