Transforming the Patient Experience

Track Description

Patient experience has been defined as “the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care” (The Beryl Institute 2016). Managing patients’ and families’ experiences during their health care journey is an increasingly important initiative for health care organizations (Barr 2016). The connections between improving patient experiences and managing community health have not yet been made. This track endeavors to fill this gap and to suggest ways for health care organizations to transform their patients, communities, and business practices.

Statement of the Problem and Its Importance

Better understanding, designing, and managing patient experiences is an important initiative for health care organizations and providers. With a shifting focus on value over volume, and increasing accountability for community health, organizations are increasingly interested in learning more about how to improve physical environments, nurse and physician communication, discharge planning, and other factors that affect patient compliance, participation, and engagement in health-related behavioral changes. Improving the patient experience is key to transforming the health and well-being of community members. Transforming the patient experience, therefore, holds the potential to become a health-related manifestation of increasing Relational Engagement to Escalate Societal Impact in health care.

As a result of shifting priorities, a focus on improving the experience of patients and families in health care is intensifying in many nations including the US, Australia, and the UK (Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care 2016; National Health Service (NHS) 2013; Rawson 2015). The patient experience movement has significant backing of organizations in the US, including The Beryl Institute ( and Cleveland Clinic’s Association for Patient Experience (, which have spawned international conferences and patient experience-specific journals. While these efforts have bolstered the awareness and impact of patient experience efforts, the movement lacks a unifying framework, highlighting limited awareness of the consumer research and services literatures.

Goals of the Session

A significant unanswered question for health care researchers and organizations is how is a patient’s experience (micro level) relates to community health improvements (meso, macro levels)? This track aims to bring together scholars and practitioners interested in developing a research project designed to capture the complex social and other issues of participating in health care systems, evaluate patient experience efforts, and propose a model of patient- and family-centered care that leads from patient activation and engagement to community health and wellness.

Questions we may focus on include:

  • How do patients and families experience their health care journey? What are the important drivers of patient engagement, compliance, and loyalty?
  • What are the roles of health care organizations and providers (physicians, nurses, etc.) in creating transformative patient experiences in order to connect resources and networks to support health and well-being?
  • How can health care organizations build upon individual patient encounters to develop community-wide strategies to enhance population health? Do patients and their caregivers see an association between health care encounters and future risk-taking and behavioral changes?
  • What types of capabilities, activities, and roles do health care organizations need to develop in order to deliver superior patient experiences, activate patient behaviors, connect patients with communities of interest, and impact population health?
  • Any other relevant and interesting questions related to the connection between patient experience and a broader construal of community health. We welcome your input and questions in this track.

Track Structure

Preconference: Constructing a Solid Foundation

At the conference, our team will develop a conceptual framework for understanding how patient experience improvement may impact community health, and identify important topics for empirical research. We invite each track participant to engage in preconference work so that our time together is productive. Plan on committing four days to preconference work including one day to read the literature, a few hours to choose an exploratory research task, and then up to two days to conduct research and to prepare a document with your findings.

  • Building a shared understanding of the patient experience and community health literature. We will identify a set of 8-10 foundational papers dealing with patient experience and community health that each participant should read prior to the meeting. Each participant will be invited to suggest one or two key papers that all track members should read.
  • Gathering grounded insights into a conceptual model. The selected team will collaboratively conduct exploratory research that will contribute to our conceptual framework. Together, we will organize the research effort prior to the conference. Participants will come to the conference with a prepared document that highlights their key findings.

During the Conference: Dynamic Cocreation of Knowledge

Conference Day 1 

The goal of the first day is to outline a conceptual framework for our topic: Improving Patient Experience to Transform Community Health.

  • Initial Discussion: What did we learn? Participants will circulate their findings to the group. Participants will then summarize documents to facilitate discussion and integration of findings from their pre-conference work to the group.
  • Integration and Synergy: Participants will combine common themes uncovered during the pre-conference research. During the discussion, we will note interesting empirical questions that we may want to tackle.
  • Analysis and Synthesis: Members will brainstorm different aspects of the research questions developed by the group, such as: What do we know now? What do we need to study? What aspects of the topic have been explored/ignored? Who are the stakeholders and what are the public-policy implications for these issues? Specifically, how do issues around patient experience and community health intersect?

Conference Day 2 

The goal of the second day is to continue to refine the conceptual framework identified in the previous afternoon, and to formulate a specific set of research propositions related to the framework.

  • Recap the conceptual framework, identifying any new insights that participants may have gained over night.
  • Identify and prioritize empirical research issues motivated by the framework. Invite teams to form to address key issues. Begin to design research approaches and develop research work plans.

Post Conference: Delivering on the Promise

Post conference research and publication plans will be based on the interests of the participants and on what we learn together. We anticipate at least two publications written for a variety of audiences. The first will focus on a special issue in the Journal of Business Research entitled: “Transformative Consumer Research: Increasing Impact through Relational Engagement” that will be associated with the conference. The follow-up publication will be open to discussion by group members, but also should keep in mind that we wish to disseminate our findings to practitioners in the health care and public policy space.

Team members should be prepared to work efficiently with co-authors, meet agreed-upon deadlines, communicate effectively, and be active participants in cocreating new knowledge that will impact the theory and practice of patient experience management.

Please contact the corresponding track chairs for questions about this track:

Andrew S. Gallan

Assistant Professor, DePaul University

Janet McColl-Kennedy

Professor of Marketing at The University of Queensland


  1. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (2016), “Review of Patient Experience and its Measurement in Australian Hospitals “,
  2. Barr, Paul (2016), “Patient Experience Is Increasingly Important,” Hospitals & Health Networks,
  3. National Health Service (NHS) (2013), “Improving Patient Experience,”
  4. Rawson, James (2015), “Improving the Patient Experience by Working Together,” PCORI: Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
  5. The Beryl Institute (2016), “The Beryl Institute,”