Holistic Healthcare: Illuminating the Human Experience for Better Outcomes

By Nicole Cable, Chief Experience Officer for IGNITE, HX and member of the MobiusVP Advisory Board

The significance of human experience and patient experience within the realm of healthcare cannot be overstated, as they wield substantial influence over the quality of care administered and, consequently, the overall health outcomes achieved. Consistent research underscores the imperative nature of prioritizing these facets to cultivate an efficient and patient-centric healthcare system.

Human experience is the natural progression of the Beryl Institute’s definition of patient experience, “The sum of all interactions shaped by an organization’s culture that influences patient perceptions across the continuum of care”.1

A pivotal dimension of this paradigm is the transformative effect of positive patient experiences on health outcomes. Rigorous studies demonstrate a direct correlation between patients who perceive themselves as heard, respected, and actively involved in their care and those who exhibit superior treatment adherence and enhanced health results. This correlation underscores the intrinsic connection between mental and emotional well-being and physical health, emphasizing the imperative for a comprehensive approach to healthcare.

Furthermore, the human experience in healthcare extends well beyond the confines of medical procedures. It encompasses the entire trajectory of a patient’s journey, commencing with the initial interaction with healthcare providers and spanning through the continuum of ongoing support and follow-up care. The research underscores that an affirmative overall experience significantly contributes to heightened patient satisfaction, fostering improved treatment compliance and the seamless continuity of care.

Understanding the human experience is indispensable for healthcare providers aiming to deliver truly patient-centered care. Cultivating empathy and facilitating effective communication are directly correlated with elevated patient satisfaction levels and increased compliance. Extant research posits that healthcare professionals who prioritize the establishment of rapport with patients not only enhance the overall experience but also demonstrably improve clinical outcomes.

Moreover, the burgeoning recognition of patient experience data as a formidable tool for enhancing healthcare quality must be addressed. By collecting and analyzing patient feedback, healthcare organizations can pinpoint areas that necessitate improvement, optimize care delivery processes, and effectuate changes that address patient concerns. This evidence-based methodology aligns seamlessly with the broader trend of incorporating patient-reported outcomes as indispensable metrics for evaluating the efficacy of medical interventions.

Beyond this, positive human experiences are instrumental in fostering trust between patients and healthcare providers. Trust is a foundational element in the patient-provider relationship, wielding influence over treatment decisions, the willingness to divulge pertinent information, and active engagement in preventive measures. A trust-laden relationship sets the stage for an environment where patients feel at ease seeking assistance and actively participating in their healthcare journey.

In conclusion, a wealth of evidence consistently affirms that human and patient experience are indispensable components in pursuing positive healthcare outcomes. Acknowledging and earnestly addressing healthcare’s emotional, psychological, and interpersonal facets can yield enhanced patient satisfaction, bolster adherence to treatment plans, and ultimately elevate overall health outcomes for individuals and communities. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, an amplified emphasis on human and patient experience emerges as imperative for creating a patient-centered and effective healthcare system.

“If organizations are willing to weave experience efforts into who they are as an organization, sustainability no longer becomes something to achieve, but, in fact, it is a result that is unavoidable.” – Jason Wolf, President & CEO, The Beryl Institute