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Culture Transformation at the VHA: Enhancing Patient Experience Through Organizational Behavior

Lang, Christopher (2021) Culture Transformation at the VHA: Enhancing Patient Experience Through Organizational Behavior. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) established the Veterans Experience Office (VEO) in 2016 in response to the growing need for a patient experience program. Former VA Secretary Robert Wilkie identified patient experience as the number one priority in the 2019 strategic plan. With the shift in focus on patient experience, it was determined that a massive cultural transformation was necessary to ensure that organization behavior would embrace this change. Focusing on the entire experience of a patient along their journey through care allows an organization to identify persistent problems that could be improved upon. Capturing this data and gathering the voice of the patient through moments that matter most to them also gives real insight into how the organization is performing. This is also significant to public health as patient’s voices are heard and their preferences are taken into real consideration. Having a voice in their care with clear communication between the patient and provider has been proven to increase health outcomes.
The purpose of this advocacy paper is to highlight the efforts made by the VA, VHA, and VEO in improving patient experience through cultural transformation and change management. Two programs have been selected to demonstrate how thoughtful and meaningful research has led to the creation of training that empowers the employee to be an agent of change in improving patient experience. The Patient Experience University and WECARE Behavior training programs are in development to give employees in-house certification in patient experience while aligning their own mission with the organization’s mission of providing the best quality care and best possible patient experience. Since the inception of the VEO, patient trust scores and overall healthcare experience scores reported in the Survey of Healthcare Experiences of Patients and Veterans Signals survey instruments have increased year after year. VEO uses this data to identify attributable effects of those survey responses in order to give facility leadership tools to improve patient experience. As the VA continues its own journey of cultural transformation, efforts by leadership and employees at all levels to improve patient experience is being promoted with vigor and organization-wide support.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lang, Christopherchl272@pitt.educhl2720000-0002-8981-0880
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBroom, Kevinkevinbroom@pitt.edukevinbroomUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberFisher, Danieldfisher@pitt.edudfisherUNSPECIFIED
Date: 10 May 2021
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 36
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Health Policy & Management
Degree: MHA - Master of Health Administration
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: patient experience, culture transformation, organizational behavior
Date Deposited: 10 May 2021 21:00
Last Modified: 10 May 2021 21:00


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