At Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, Patient Experience is something that we take very seriously. Although Patient Experience seems like a very broad term, it can be defined quite precisely. Patient Experience encompasses the wide range of experiences and interactions that take place in one’s journey. This starts when the patient walks into our building and continues through the duration of their care.
Understanding Patient Experience is a key step in moving toward patient centered care and maintaining our esteemed Center of Excellence reputation. We have a program at Cure 4 The Kids Foundation that assesses to what extent patients are receiving care that is respectful, responsive, and transparent. This care is based on the individual patient’s preference, needs, and values. Sometimes it may be a hard pill to swallow, sometimes it may be something else. But Patient Experience isn’t the same as Patient Satisfaction and we have a ways we monitor both. The most important one is the Patient Experience Survey. We moved away from the norm of Patient Satisfaction Surveys, as we don’t think the questions we were asking were fair. With the Patient Experience Survey, we were able to ask meaningful questions such as caring, communication, and expectations. Surveys tell us if the patient had the proper communication with providers, nurses, and clinic staff.
A big part of our Patient Experience program is our new and improved No More Chemo Parties. The No More Chemo Party is the cherry on top for most patients. This is the time when we celebrate a patient’s bravery and honor their fight! No More Chemo Parties mark the end of treatment for a patient — and it’s first day of the rest of their life! It’s a celebration everyone at Cure 4 The Kids Foundation wants to be a part of. We surprise the patients with Krispy Kreme doughnuts, presents, singing, and much more. We even live stream the event on Facebook so the rest of the world can celebrate with us. “To see these kiddos cancer free and ready to take on the world it’s what gives me the strength to continue doing this amazing job”, said Katherine Salkanovic, C4K’s Patient Experience Manager.
Patient Experience is everything we say and do that has an impact in a patient’s life. Patient Experience is understanding that everyone who walks through our door has a story, and while we don’t know the story, we know that they are here expecting our help. Patient Experience is important to Katherine, because of her own personal Patient Experience, simple as that. Her father was diagnosed with cancer when she was 19 years old, and sadly, the family had a horrible experience. Since then, her life’s mission has been to change Patient Experience, and how care is delivered to their patient population. Furthermore, it is important to us because it is the foundation of who we are as a clinic. We were built on a patient experience.
Annette Logan-Parker, CEO of Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, saw a need that was not being met and took matters into her own hands, forming the organization from the ground-up. Cure 4 The Kids is unique in every way imaginable as far as Patient Experience is concerned. “To start, we treat the patient, not just the disease. Every patient is important and we go above and beyond for each and every one of them,” says Katherine. “We are known for never denying services based on a family’s inability to pay. To us, that speaks volumes, we are here to saves lives, no matter the cost.”
Katherine is a Certified Patient Experience Professional or CPXP. There are only 2 in Nevada, and 542 across the world. “It’s truly a life changing certification. I relied on my 14-years of experience to pass it. It was hard, but it was worth it. Patient Experience is what drives me to be the best at what I do. In what other job do you get to change the world every day? In my position, and as a CPXP, I get to use my knowledge and experience as a leader and influence systems, processes, and behaviors that cultivate consistently positive experiences. I am bringing value and dedication to my work to ensure the best experience for all of those we work with, care for and serve in healthcare every day.”
We believe we can’t have Patient Experience without Employee Engagement. Some of the special touches that we have implemented are Superhero Visits, Arts and Crafts for patients, ‘Spa’ Days, the first-ever C4K Comic-Con, just to name a few. Additionally, the majority of the events are free for patients and their siblings due to generous sponsors and we now have a special relationship with Chance from the Vegas Golden Knights! “These events are catered for patients and employees alike, we want to create an environment filled with smiles and happiness. I encourage everyone to attend these events no matter how big or small you are,” laughs Katherine. We strive to #CelebrateTheFight!