Improving the ‘human experience’ at Michigan Medicine

September 20, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership,

Approximately a 5-minute read

Key takeaways:

  • Devin Lippert joined the Office of Patient Experience a little over a year ago after a lengthy career in the health care industry.
  • Headlines recently had an opportunity to have a conversation with Lippert to learn more about her work, her future plans and her life away from Michigan Medicine.
  • Lippert said the key is to create the ideal “human experience” at Michigan Medicine because “we are humans providing care and compassion to other humans, and together, our efforts impact the experience for all!”  

Devin Lippert joined the Office of Patient Experience a little over a year ago.

With a lengthy background in the health care industry, she immediately began to make a significant impact on the patient experience at Michigan Medicine.

Headlines recently had an opportunity to have a conversation with Lippert to learn more about her work, her future plans and her life away from Michigan Medicine.

Here’s what she had to say: 

Q: You joined Michigan Medicine from a national organization and your career has been in other hospital systems. What strikes you as the biggest difference between Michigan Medicine and other health systems?

DL: Yes, my last job was at Press Ganey where I worked with health care organizations across the country, from large academic medical centers to small critical access hospitals. Michigan Medicine partners with Press Ganey for our patient experience and employee engagement surveys.  

When I got here, I thought I knew an academic medical center. Since joining Michigan Medicine a year ago, what I have learned is that if you know one academic medical center, then you know only one academic medical center.

Every AMC is unique. However, there are definitely similarities. For instance, all the health care organizations for which I have worked have been committed to supporting patients and enhancing their experiences. Some were further along in their journeys; however, they all were interested in learning more about how they could make improvements.

Q: What does patient experience mean to you? 

DL: I am deeply passionate about experience. I was drawn to health care at a young age because I knew I wanted to help people. And I began my career as a clinical dietitian where I had a big focus on improving the meal service to patients and families. 

Patient experience is providing the safest care with the highest quality that is patient- and family-centered and built on a foundation of an engaged care team throughout the continuum of care. 

Patient experience is not the “nice to have” things, it is when “must have” care qualities are delivered.  A patient cannot have the best experience if they have any safety concerns or quality of care issues when they come to us for care. And if the team taking care of the patient is not engaged, then they will never be able to provide the patient with their very best (even though they give their all). 

I sincerely think we must change our mindset from “patient experience” to the “human experience” — because we are humans providing care and compassion to other humans, and together, our efforts impact the experience for all!  

Q: What are your thoughts on our most recent employee engagement survey? 

DL: The engagement feedback was very difficult to hear/see as we declined from previous years. But this is the purpose of our engagement survey process.  

We MUST hear the voices of all our faculty and staff and take action to follow through and make improvements on what matters most to them during these extremely difficult times. I am looking forward to the work ahead of us as we continue to listen to our caregivers and work together to continue to make this the best health care system in Michigan.

Q: How do you handle your burnout? What do you do to disconnect from work?

DL: I really focus on practicing what I preach. When I take time away from work, I try to disconnect as I expect my leaders and team to do as well. I also make sure I take time to give my body what it needs to be the best person I can be so I can give back to others (meditation, exercise, nutrition, etc.)  

A few years ago, one night I was working on my laptop while sitting in the living room with my family when I noticed a baby picture of my child, who was 12 at the time, and it hit me that I needed to slow down. I needed to live in the moment and spend time with my family as life goes by way too fast.  

I continue to try to develop different organizational skills to ensure I am doing the best I can in my profession, so that when I am with my family, I am able to focus on them and appreciate these special moments. I am constantly working on this so if you have any special tips, I would love to discuss! It is always a work in progress, and we all need to help each other with this.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

DL: I LOVE spending time with my husband Greg, our three children (Taylor 24, Jaxon 16 and Alana 13) and our dog Beast (Bullmastiff mixed with a Boston Terrier). I love to exercise (walk, run and exercise video programs) and spend time watching our children do what they enjoy. I also enjoy that I have my mom and dad (and in-laws) here to share the special moments in life as I continue to learn from them after all these years. 

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