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Many of Cleveland Clinic’s best ideas come from studying the best practices of others, so one of our early goals was to help shape the emerging field of patient experience by sharing what we were learning and doing. We’re both active listeners and sharers of information. We believe in bringing people together to network, exchange ideas, and learn, helping all to improve what we’re doing for patients. But this is more than that. This is a movement.

In 2010 we established an annual Patient Experience: Empathy & Innovation Summit. When I convene it every year, I remind attendees that I’m just like them, someone working hard on the front lines to improve the experience for patients. I commit to helping them, and I ask them to help me by sharing information, exchanging ideas, and networking to advance our collective goal of improving the patient experience together. Attendance since our first year has grown to over 2,100 people representing 49 states and 39 countries, making this the largest independent summit of its kind in the world. We have attracted partners to help drive this very important change, including the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Group Association, the Association of Academic Health Centers, the Society of Hospital Medicine, and the University Health Systems Consortium. We’re bringing together our collective thought leadership to drive more dialogue, and we’re sharing what we know to help our colleagues improve.

The agendas reflect a diverse set of topics. Andrew C. Taylor, executive chairman of Enterprise Holdings, Inc., parent company of Alamo Rent-A-Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and National Car Rental, opened the first summit with a passionate speech about the importance of customer service and the need to keep customers at the center of everything in business. Son of legendary founder Jack Taylor, our speaker credited Enterprise’s customer-centric strategy as key to the company’s enduring success. Coming from a well-regarded business leader in a very successful consumer organization, Taylor’s remarks were tremendous reinforcement of the principles we believe important and transferable in healthcare.

Every year a sentinel event is the CEO panel composed of top hospital leaders from across the United States. Participants, in addition to Cosgrove, have included Kurt Newman of Children’s National Health System, Marc Boom of Houston Methodist Hospital, David Feinberg of UCLA Health System, Michael Dowling of North Shore–Long Island Jewish Health System, Charles Sorenson of Intermountain Healthcare, and Robert Pryor of Baylor Scott & White Health. It’s a robust, hour-long discussion about leadership, culture, and the patient experience. They share their insights, challenge each other, and take questions from the audience.

We’ve had an impressive array of speakers from a variety of different fields in and around healthcare delivery. Gerard van Grinsven, president and CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America, who came from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, shared how management is helping to improve the emotional connectivity of patients with the organization. David Schlanger, CEO of ...

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