Exceptional Patient Experience

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Target Audience:

This program is designed for health care professionals, staff, students and trainees to learn the fundamentals of improving value in health care.


Value University training is self-directed: individuals and/or teams complete online lessons and point-of-care improvement work at their own pace—applying process improvement methodologies, safety best practices, patient satisfaction, and appropriate measurement and analytic tools—to achieve mastery.

Exceptional Patient Experience Proposed Content Outline


Exceptional patient experience is about making a human connection—it’s about being mindful of our patients, creating an atmosphere of respect and courtesy, listening and responding to their concerns, and providing clear explanation of care delivery and care planning, all reinforced through standard work to ensure everyone on the care team is on the same page.

All lessons build on the core competencies required to deliver an exceptional patient experience in any care setting.

5 Questions, 1 Minute: Using the topics below as a starting point, tell us what topics you or Not Like to learn more about and use the “Comments” section to tell us what topics we missed!


Mindfulness - develop the knowledge, empathy and insight necessary to be present with patients.

Supporting Lessons:

  • Voice of the patient: Why patient experience matters
  • Understanding what patients value: Continuum
    • Healthy patients value—Convenience
    • Acutely ill patients value—Responsiveness
    • Chronically ill patients value—Well Coordinated Care
  • Being mindful
    • Being present and focused on the patient
    • Empathy – viewing the situation from the patient’s perspective
    • Insight – perceiving how you are viewed by others

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Respect and Courtesy – Establish an atmosphere of respect and courtesy when caring for and communicating with patients.

Supporting Lessons:

  • Acknowledgement
  • The power of names and introductions
  • Establishing connection and trust
  • Structuring the visit
  • Managing time – staying on time, minimizing waits, acknowledging delays
  • Focus:
    • Establishing rapport
    • Patient privacy
    • Phone etiquette
    • Email etiquette

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Listen – Actively engage patients in the care process through effective communication, listening, and care decision making.

Supporting Lessons:

  • Communication Process
    • Nonverbal
    • Paraverbal
    • Verbal
  • Check for understanding
    • Reflective listening, paraphrasing
  • Involving the patient in decisions that impact them
  • Responding to questions, concerns, worries
    • Identifying intellectual and emotional cues

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Explain – Explaining care delivery and care planning in a way your patient understands.

Supporting Lessons:

  • Barriers to understanding
  • Commitment to care
  • Explain what you do as you do it/before you do it
    • Connection to expertise
    • What we do
    • What it feels like
    • Timing
    • Follow-up
  • Connect to patient motivation
  • Focus:
    • New medications
    • Transitions (discharge, follow up to visit, referral)
    • Post encounter coordination (who to call, questions, concerns, what to look for)
    • Pain management
    • Consent

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Communication as a Process – Create standard work to ensure excellent team based communication.

Supporting Lessons:

  • Patient value stream
  • Standard work
    • Daily communication
    • Care transitions
    • Discharge
  • Focus:
    • Respond to patient questions outside visit
    • New patient vs. return patient
    • Emergency vs. planned admission
    • De-escalating situations
    • Pain management

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About the Exceptional Patient Experience Academy Contributors

To help kickoff development of Value University’s Exceptional Patient Experience (EPE) Academy, subject matter experts from throughout University of Utah Health Sciences were asked to serve as “Pilot Team” members to help draft an initial content outline and serve on the virtual steering committee.

Pilot Team Members:

Gladys Adjei-Poku, RN
Associate Director, Nursing, University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics

Chrissy Daniels, MS (Team Lead)
Director, Strategic Initiatives/Exceptional Patient Experience

William Dunson, MD
Medical Director, Outpatient Services, Huntsman Cancer Institute

Kim Mahoney
Program Manager, Value University

Robert C. Pendleton, MD
Chief Medical Quality Officer-Director, Value University

Colline Prasad, RN
Nurse Manager, Surgical Specialty Transplant Unit, University of Utah Health Care

Mari Ransco, M.ed
Quality Improvement Specialist, Exceptional Patient Experience

Rasa Sakalauskas, RN
Nurse Manager, AIM-B