Press Ganey National Client Conference 2013 Day 1



I am currently attending the Press Ganey National Client Conference in Orlando, Florida. This post is a summary of my initial impressions of the events in near “real time.” These views expressed here are my own and do not represent the company I work for, nor am I receiving any compensation from Press Ganey for sharing my opinions.

Press Ganey is one of, if not the largest, provider of patient satisfaction survey data. Their services are currently used by almost half the hospitals in the United States.

As the hospital I work for utilizes their services, I am attending the client conference over the next two days and I’ll be recording my thoughts. Due to the nature of available technology and timing, please note the style of writing will be more reflective of my impressions.

***end of excessive disclaimers***

As always, Press Ganey puts on a great event  – this year an added feature included a downloadable app with great functionality – especially the ability to review my schedule for upcoming sessions. There were a few technical issues that could be improved, but overall, I really enjoy the additional level of participation.

Another great feature that all-conference providers should take note of: Press Ganey offered free Wi-Fi access to all attendees on site – with the number of wireless devices, phones, and tablets – this is almost a must.

Opening Session

The first individual to take the stage is Press Ganey’s Chief Client Experience Officer (I love the title) Patty Riskind.

She brought a great level of energy and enthusiasm  – even mentioning how fortunate she was to find the perfect job in her current role.

What a great reminder of the importance of working in the role you’re truly passionate about!

Patty then introduced the video that reviewed all the many challenges and personal stories happening in the news that also impacted healthcare in the past year.

In spite of disasters like the Boston Marathon bombing, Major storms like Sandy (Here is how Toyota helped a non-profit serve victims more effectively) and the explosion at the fertilizer plant in Texas, there was a sense of pride in healthcare. The importance of putting patients’ needs over their own was a common theme with all the healthcare providers interviewed.

Press Ganey CEO Patrick Ryan

Emphasizing the importance of healthcare and how those involved truly are making a difference every day, he encouraged us to consider the symbolism behind the idea to “pay it forward” – this idea is special in the healthcare industry.

He also reviewed some of the changes in Press Ganey’s services over the past year, as well as some of the changes in the language within healthcare – such as the shift from “patient satisfaction”  to “patient experience” – moving from the idea of “sample sizes” to “every patient having a voice.”

He explained that culture and leadership matter – they truly are the difference in successful organizations.

Among the focus of healthcare providers is the desire to reduce suffering, but Ryan pointed out our infrastructure and old paradigms need to change. We must move away from the old silos and barriers, and move forward to improving our coordination of care.

If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.

General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U. S. Army

Press Ganey Innovation Award

For 2013, this award was presented to Chris Van Gorder of Scripps health – Congratulations!

Jillian Michaels

Concluding the opening session was keynote speaker Jillian Michaels (you may recognizer her from The Biggest Loser)

Julian’s presentation was packed with great ideas – from personal experience, including some great change management ideas, and techniques to create and sustain behavior change.

In an upcoming Life Changers feature I will include one idea that she has found life-changing which was briefly discussed the presentation, but for this overview I wanted to mention for commentary on overcoming fear.

She pointed out that individuals should consider three scenarios regarding a fear that they have identified

She gave the example of the fear of going to receive a mammogram – here are the three scenarios

  1. You can go have the mammogram and receive the results that everything is okay.
  2. You can go have a mammogram receive negative results, but 9 out of 10 times, the negative results or outcomes of a failure that come from trying, is recoverable. Cancer detected early can be dealt with appropriately, just like other failures provide opportunities to learn lessons how to do better next time.
  3. Do nothing. But when you do nothing, not nothing happens. This is neglect and this causes decay the worst-case will manifest.

She then discussed the importance of personal accountability ultimately we have to take responsibility for own health.

This is incredibly empowering – if you take responsibility then the solution is also within your control.If your see yourself just as a victim, then no solution is within your control and nothing will ever change.

Breakout Sessions

After the conclusion of the main section, attendees broke out into individual sessions on various topics.

The first breakout session I attended was titled “What’s in a Number?”

A great take away from this session was the importance of merging the clinical and nonclinical approach to things. Healthcare can easily find itself dividing into silos by combining both sides united, rather than divided.

Another important take away was the value of involving those impacted by decisions, for example – why not involve patients when redesigning the menu for the food the patients themselves will eat?

The next session focused on taking action and measuring it – specifically measurement of training effectiveness.

The speaker explained, and gave real examples of Donald Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Evaluation Model.

  • Step 1: Reaction – How well did the learners like the learning process?
  • Step 2: Learning – What did they learn? (the extent to which the learners gain knowledge and skills)
  • Step 3: Behavior – (What changes in job performance resulted from the learning process? (capability to perform the newly learned skills while on the job)
  • Step 4: Results – What are the tangible results of the learning process in terms of reduced cost, improved quality, increased production, efficiency, etc.?

Accountability is the thing here – even to the point of having employees audit each other (not in a punitive way but in a constructive fashion).

I thought this entire presentation is really great, and filled with a lot of useful information.

The third breakout session of the day focused on achieving the Baldrige Award.

What stood out to me most about this session wasn’t the content, as much as it was the take away item I was provided with – there were two handouts that represent materials employees were given at the speakers organization.

The first handout included the values mission vision and goals of the organization on a great pocket card.

The next handout was a quarterly tool that focused on the top three quarter goals for each area. Both these tools are great resources and I am very appreciative for the generosity of the organization to share.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

The last session of the day was the keynote presentation by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Overall Hillary Clinton is an excellent speaker – she made some very good nonpolitical statements that were sure to please both sides of the partisan divide.

Here are a few worth mentioning:

“We need to look at the trendlines not just the headlines”

“Public political debates take place in an evidence free zone”

“We need to be guided by facts not ideology”

CEO Ryan asked some great questions including what was the coolest thing about Air Force One (it apparently has great food and even a shower).

When asked if she could meet anyone in history, Hillary Clinton said that she would love to meet Jesus. She also mentioned that she was impressed with strong female figures like Cleopatra and Joan of arc.


All in all, an awesome first day! I look forward to the full day of sessions coming up.

If you want to follow along, you can find me on Twitter – @JonDHarrison

Until the next update…


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