1. Include the voices of clinicians.
For far too long patient experience has been hived off to managers, who then tell clinicians “how to do it”. This is infuriating for people who’ve had to study for twenty years and pawn their Elton John collections to get where they are. When you start listening to the voices and stories of clinicians - at all levels - and using them to improve everyone's experience of being in the workplace, you won’t believe the enthusiasm and knowledge they bring. And if you keep on being this stressed you might need them one day.
2. Avoid the Data Jitters
Waking up with the data shakes? Take this one with a glass of water. Big data can be intimidating, especially if you’re not the kind of person who opens a spreadsheet as if they’re cutting into a birthday cake. Such people exist. Hire one. And don’t forget their birthday.
3. Don’t "Survey-Worship"
Don’t wait until The Survey Says patient information is poor, then run off and drop 300,000 leaflets on your strategies for the avoidance of bed sores from your brother-in-law’s single-engined aircraft. You'll crash. Don’t wait until The Survey Says Receptionists could be nicer, then go round and tell them they’re being replaced with Siri and a cardboard cut-out of Gary Lineker. You owe your staff and communities more than that. And the Receptionists will kill you, smiling all the time as they do it.
4. Use Stories
Stories are the product of open, rather than closed, questions, and so they reach the parts other data sources don’t, and can’t. Trust me. Collect and analyse stories in the right way, and it’s like waking up from cryogenic suspension. You’ll understand the people who matter most to your organisation better than you ever thought possible. And then you can name your next salary. And people will bring you bunches of fresh chrysanthemums. And chocolate.
5. Avoid “Five Things” lists
Most of them are rubbish. Become a cookie monster instead.