Introduction

The patient experience (PX) is central to improving the quality of healthcare services. We launched a PX capacity- and capability-building program at the Armed Forces Hospitals Taif Region, which is integral to our regional healthcare cluster transformation plans and is an initial step toward developing a culture of improvement in human experience in healthcare.

Methods

A multidisciplinary PX committee recruited five frontline interprofessional PX heads, one from each of our regional healthcare hospitals. The Kirkpatrick model for program evaluation was used to assess the impact on four key levels: reaction, learning, behavior, and results. A pre-program competency assessment was conducted to evaluate the level of expertise across various PX competencies, and a program curriculum was developed accordingly. Participants underwent an intensive workshop-based PX capacity-building training program. A post-program competency assessment was performed along with a post-program survey. The PX-related activities led by interprofessional frontline PX heads at their respective hospitals’ post-programs were tracked. The impact on the regional PX mean score across various settings, including inpatient, outpatient, and emergency settings, was measured using Press Ganey PX surveys. Our work is reported in accordance with the SQUIRE-EDU guidelines of the EQUATOR network.

Results

The PX capacity-building program led to a significant improvement in participants’ expertise across various PX competencies. Significant improvements beyond the strategic targets were observed in the PX mean score in inpatient departments pre-program (83.31) vs. post-program (86.34), with a p-value of < 0.001 across the regional healthcare system.

Conclusion

The PX capacity-building program is a first step toward major cultural change amid the healthcare cluster transformation in our regional healthcare system. The Kirkpatrick model helps evaluate the impact of PX capacity- and capability-building training programs comprehensively through an organizational approach. Sustainable improvements in PX over a long period through a capacity-building program alone remain challenging.

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Supplementary data