Notes on patient experience from around the system

Notes on Patient ExperienceDespite facing frightening diagnoses or serious medical conditions, many of our patients have excellent experiences with us. Our integrated model of care, compassionate service and high quality treatment options help them to feel well-cared for and confident. Many want to share their experiences with others and are willing to tell their stories in writing or in a video.

Visit our website to hear our patients' stories.

Focus on what matters for big results

When one of our local patient service markets saw that its patient satisfaction scores were low, they jumped into action. They knew that many factors influence patient experience and raising their scores would take considerable work. Their goal was to be in the top quartile nationally.

They broke their work down into major satisfaction drivers. They looked at operational effectiveness first because these factors are key to the overall experience. From there, they based the rest of their work on five core principles: service excellence training, accountability, analysis, patient experience teams and patient access. Looking at best practices nationally and throughout Aurora, they developed new standardized training courses that included service commitment training and leadership coaching. Physician training was expanded. New structures, such as patient advisory councils, brought patients' voices to the table.

Leaders and caregivers alike began to hold each other accountable for results. Patient access improved as leadership and physicians collaborated to incorporate time-starved family hours, even offering access during lunch periods. And secret shoppers provided feedback.

As health care providers know, it takes a cultural shift to see dramatic improvement in patient satisfaction. After two and a half years, scores in this service market improved dramatically. Their patient satisfaction scores are now in the top quartile nationally and they are now striving to reach the 99th percentile soon.

A "green" environment improves care

Aurora Medical Center in Grafton
Aurora Medical Center in Grafton

Implementing environmentally friendly practices is one way Aurora can provide a safe and sustainable healing environment for our patients for decades to come. Our newest hospital, Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, earned Silver LEED® certification in 2011, making it the first hospital in Wisconsin to be recognized for its environmentally friendly practices and construction.

LEED, an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized green building certification system. LEED-certified buildings are constructed to achieve energy savings, water efficiencies, carbon dioxide emissions reductions and improved indoor environmental quality, as well as demonstrate stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impact on the environment.

To be eligible for this certification, Aurora Medical Center in Grafton was required to meet benchmarks in five key areas: sustainable sites, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and water efficiency. Points were awarded by the council for specific practices in each area.

As an energy efficient medical facility, Aurora Medical Center in Grafton will use 35 percent less energy than the average U.S. hospital, save more than 2,500 tons of carbon dioxide per year, and meet electricity savings, which alone could power more than 200 Wisconsin homes.

Being a "green" hospital can have a profound and measurable effect on healing, and the building's design has had a noticeable impact on patients. The benefits are real, and we're seeing them every day.

Celebrating caregiving milestones

Aurora Women's Pavilion in West Allis
Aurora Women's Pavilion in West Allis

Aurora has been caring for patients at hospitals, clinics and pharmacies for decades. In 2011, we celebrated two milestones that demonstrate our continued commitment.

Aurora West Allis Memorial Medical Center, has been an integral part of the West Allis community for 50 years. The 204-bed hospital kicked off a full year of silver anniversary celebrations in January 2011. Located in the heart of West Allis, the hospital offers convenient access to high-quality care and a complete range of primary and acute care programs. Aurora West Allis is also home to the Aurora Women's Pavilion where women at all stages of life experience comprehensive care in a relaxed, healing environment. This beautiful five-story facility has been offering women specialized programs and services for every stage of her life since 2002.

Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay celebrated its ten-year anniversary in 2011. The 167-bed full-service tertiary care hospital opened in 2001 as a joint venture of Aurora Health Care and BayCare Clinic. Since its inception, Aurora BayCare has been instrumental in changing the landscape of health care in the community. Over the last decade, Aurora BayCare has created multiple areas of excellence, including: cancer care services, Cartilage Center, emergency medicine and trauma, Heart, Lung and Vascular Center, NeuroCare Brain & Spine Center, orthopedic services, sports medicine and athletic performance and The Women's Center.

Aurora BayCare is recognized as one of the most advanced medical facilities in northeastern Wisconsin. It has been the recipient of many awards, including being ranked among the top 100 hospitals by Thomson Reuters and named the top performing hospital in the entire country by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).