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Virtua Launches Advanced Patient Experience Program through Practicing Excellence

April 18, 2024 - All 14,000+ colleagues to share the journey of ensuring an outstanding experience for “everybody, always.”

April 18, 2024

Last week, the entire Virtua Health workforce – more than 14,000 people – began a 26-week program focused on personal growth, relationship building, and a wholistic appreciation of the human experience. Leveraging an extensive library of peer-to-peer video “micro-learnings” curated by the California-based company Practicing Excellence, Virtua aims to support its staff in finding enhanced meaning in their individual roles and deeper connections to their patients and fellow colleagues.

“Working in health care is demanding and the stakes are inherently high,” said Reg Blaber, MD, executive vice president and chief clinical officer for Virtua Health. “We want our staff to have tools and resources that ensure they feel inspired, challenged, and enthusiastic about the incredible impact they make each day.”

Virtua Health is the largest health system to implement a systemwide, simultaneous roll-out of the Practicing Excellence platform. In 2023, 100% of Virtua’s leaders achieved certification in leading the patent experience and more than 85% of the workforce achieved certification in the introductory patient experience program. This led to Virtua being awarded the Practicing Excellence 2023 Commitment to Caregiver Experience Award.

Now, Virtua staff are accessing advanced content that builds upon their foundational knowledge.

Founded by Stephen Beeson, MD, Practicing Excellence was originally designed as a tool and resource for physicians. Since that time, its learning modules have expanded to include nursing and other health care professions. Unlike many training modules, the program does not use quizzes or exams; rather, weekly “try this” tasks provide simple instruction for incorporating new behaviors and techniques.

“Most people learn best by doing. The short videos serve as a launching point for action, after which teams can gather and share their experiences implementing the tips during Daily HUGS, our Human Understanding Gatherings,” said Chrisie Scott, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Virtua Health. “Our aim is to celebrate self-discovery and the ongoing commitment to be our best and give our best.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Virtua Health on their continuous learning journey. Their progress and outcomes are a direct result of the highly engaged leaders and colleagues thriving to be their best for each other and for the patients Virtua serves,” said Practicing Excellence’s Dr. Beeson.

In addition to the Virtua-wide offerings, several colleagues have also participated in specialty programs that focus on specific skills, such as leadership and effective communication. In March 2024, Virtua honored its first cohort of Practicing Excellence certified clinician coaches – 18 individuals who completed a six-part series about helping health care providers overcome burnout by cultivating their strengths.

“In my line of work, everyone relies upon one another – which builds lasting relationships,” said Doug M. Stranges, DO, an emergency room physician who participated in the inaugural clinician coach program. “I’m grateful to have new tactics for helping my department work in harmony and achieve our full collective potential.”

A second clinician coach cohort will assemble in May.

Virtua Health’s engagement with Practicing Excellence is part of a wider strategy for orienting to the consumer and evolving its culture. In early April, president and CEO Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE, provided a keynote address at the annual ELEVATE PX conference hosted by The Beryl Institute, a global community of health care professionals and experience champions. In 2023, Virtua’s marketing division, led by Chrisie Scott, also published a research-driven language guide for staff emphasizing the importance of person-first language.

“Words carry great meaning, and all Virtua colleagues deserve a framework to ensure we communicate in way that conveys how much we care,” shares Scott.