A humbling honor and a great discussion at the 2015 Press Ganey conference

A few weeks ago, I received an unexpected email saying I had been named the 2015 Press Ganey Innovator of the Year. What an honor, I thought. It felt good to know that people are taking notice of the great work we’re doing here at Providence.

The award was presented on Tuesday in Orlando, Fla., and I was honored to accept it on behalf of the 76,000 caregivers who work in Providence ministries and partner organizations across the Western United States.

It’s a testament to the talented and passionate individuals who constantly strive to “know our patients, care for them and ease their way.” Thank you to everyone at Providence for all you do to improve the lives of others and for inspiring me every single day. I share this honor with each of you.

Four takeaways from our CEO panel

Nearly 3,000 health care professionals gathered in Orlando for the annual Press Ganey conference on innovations in patient-centered care. One great thing about events like these is the opportunity to connect with colleagues in other organizations to learn about their successes and challenges.

I had a chance to do just that as part of a panel discussion of health care CEOs. I really enjoyed the conversation and thought I’d share a few highlights with you.

CEO Panel

Our CEO panel included myself, Toby Cosgrove of Cleveland Clinic, David Feinberg of Geisinger Clinic, Marna Borgstrom of Yale New Haven Hospital and Mike Murphy of Sharp HealthCare. Our moderator was Patrick Ryan from Press Ganey.

1. We are all facing the same rapid pace of change. Whether it’s keeping up with the latest regulatory requirements or adopting new technology, the amount of change happening in health care these days is unprecedented and a common challenge for every health care organization.

2. Teamwork remains key. The patient experience is made up of a series of interactions with people in different roles, and every encounter has the potential to make or break the entire experience. That’s why more organizations (Providence included) are using the term “caregiver” to refer to every employee whether they work in direct patient care or not. As Toby Cosgrove put it, “We need teamwork. Health care is too big and too complicated to just be in the hands of nurses and physicians.” We all play a role.

3. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. David Feinberg announced an interesting new mobile app from Geisinger that allows patients to rate their experience. If they’re not 100 percent satisfied, they can ask for a refund of up to $2,000 back. What an innovation. You can learn more about it here.

4. The future is not a solo flight. When asked about Providence’s new partnership to create retail clinics with Walgreens next year, I talked about our commitment to finding new ways to serve more people in more convenient settings. I believe innovative partnerships are the future. Our success as institutions will be based on the partnerships we achieve to serve our communities better and more deeply.

What we all have in common

I have known many of the panelists for a long time, and we all share a common purpose. I resonated with a comment from David Feinberg, whom I’ve known since his days at UCLA Medical Center before he moved onto Geiseinger.

“I don’t feel like a CEO,” he said. “I feel like I’m one of the 33,000 people of Geisinger who come to work every day to be a healer. It’s such a privilege to get to know people at their most vulnerable.” Well said, David. That’s exactly how I feel.

Issaquah star

It was great to see our hospitals recognized during the conference. Swedish Issaquah is mentioned on this star on Press Ganey’s “walk of fame.” Our emergency department in Issaquah, Wash., has the distinction of being the only ED in the nation to have a patient satisfaction rating of 95 percent or higher for seven years in a row.


zero harm

Signing the “Zero Harm” wall to express my commitment to patient safety.

  1. Congratulations Rod!
    What an accomplishment for Providence and you!
    Luis Amezcua

  2. Congratulations on the well-deserved recognition! I especially appreciate your note regarding teamwork and the use of the term “caregiver” for all staff within the organization. I may market myself as a consultant and project manager, but all of my work is aimed to deliver enhanced patient experience. It’s why we come to work.

  3. Thank you for sharing this honor with us. How very exciting to know that when we come together, we do great things. The coming year sounds like even more excitement. I know our new partnerships will allow even more people to have access to the care they need.

  4. Since your assumption of the CEO role, I think many would agree that there has been palpable positive change in the enterprise. One trait of a great clinician, and innovator, is to be able to anticipate things before they become palpable. Keep up the great work of sensing new and better models of giving care. Congratulations, Rod.

  5. Well deserved Rod! It is an honor to work with you at such an amazing organization during these transformational times.

  6. One of my passions has always been to bring health care “to the people;” am so excited to read about our partnership with external venues, and the acknowledgement of the need for teamwork. Kudos on the recognition! Well deserved!

  7. WOW! You were in great company! Congratulations! And Thank You for your Leadership!

  8. Congratulations Sir, what a great honor!

  9. Wow – The Cleveland Clinic, Geisinger, Yale and Sharp? That says something about how awesome we are to be alongside those star players. #GoProvidence #Congrats

  10. Yes ‘Zero Harm’! Even its very difficult to reach this goal.

    All the best in PHS


  11. Thank you, Rod, for your leadership at Providence and in the healthcare community locally, regionally, and nationally. The information in this blog was helpful to me personally and as a Providence caregiver supporting those who provide direct patient care.

  12. Congratulations Rod and Providence caregivers throughout the organization.