Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Tell It Better: Patient data from storytelling, & a new workshop

Could storytelling--rather than statistics--be the best measure of a health system's progress with patients?  That's what the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Anne Weiss suggests in How Can We Measure High Value Care? Consider the Patient Point of View. She reminds about the value of patients' point of view, from improving clinical outcomes to reducing unnecessary testing, but notes that your data collection might need changing:’s easy to get lost in the technical details of how to get patient point of view through the survey methodologies, the sampling frames, and data sources. The next time measurement experts need some inspiration, here’s where they should turn: to the people who live in communities who were part of the Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality program, RWJF’s ten-year effort to lift the quality and equality of care in 16 targeted communities. Aligning Forces for Quality communities were the earliest pioneers in measuring and making public information on the quality and costs of health care, and in beginning to tie those outcomes to how much providers are paid.
If you’re in need of inspiration, visit our website and sample one of the talks that spotlights how the voices of patients are transforming the health care system, and how much remains to be done.
I was lucky enough to be selected to coach these 16 speakers, and I've written here about the process of training a cadre of speakers to do TED-style talks. Healthcare executives who want to learn more about this approach can register now for Inspired by TED: Using TED and TEDMED Tactics to Improve Your Presentations, a workshop I'm leading at the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD) in Washington, DC, on Sunday, Oct. 11. Registration is open now and you'll get an early-bird discount for signing up before August 7. Seats are limited for this workshop, so reserve your place today.

Here's one great example of taking a TED-like approach to a talk: Weiss highlights several of the talks in her post, noting Nate Hunkins's talk about how his complaints about his post-surgical care led to more emotional and mental health supports for patients after trauma and surgery. I think that exchange was his most important storytelling, but the talk is a close second. In it, he notes the power of story:
I learned that having the courage to give feedback, combined with the provider's willingness to listen and act, can result in significant improvements in health. This is profound, because it means that improving quality does not require medical or technological breakthroughs.
Hunkins called the relationship between patient and physician "an untapped resource" in improving care quality. And I'd call storytelling another often-untapped resource when companies and organizations are looking for ways to quantify what they do and where their impact lies. Watch Nate's talk below or follow the link above for all 16 talks.

Storytelling's the big buzz word in communications and marketing. But we've forgotten how this ancient art works. This "Tell it better" series hopes to revive and hone your storytelling skills for any format, from public speaking in the style of TED to social media. Want a storytelling workshop? Email me at eloquentwoman AT

Got a panel coming up? Whether you're a conference organizer, speaker, or moderator, you'll have a better panel--and a sparkling discussion--if you plan with The Eloquent Woman's Guide to Moderating Panels. At just $3.99 in all ebook formats, it's like having a coach with whom you can prepare and bring on stage with you.

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