Amy Kosifas
August 25, 2018

BTOES EXCLUSIVE SLIDE DECK: Creating a More Reliable Patient Experience

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Courtesy of Sharp Healthcare, 'Creating a More Reliable Patient Experience' Amy Kosifas has written an article to introduce her presentation:

Please click here to download the presentation.

Healthcare is rapidly moving toward the adoption of a high reliability framework which is designed to reduce harm and improve quality.  While we may agree with this in concept, how do we achieve the necessary cultural transformation?  Do we adopt an entirely new performance framework, or can we integrate and align goals within existing initiatives that we know are vital to success?

Back in 2000, leaders at Sharp HealthCare in San Diego took a cue from Jim Collins and his book Good to Great and asked their stakeholders what they thought of their experience with Sharp.  Finding that most felt that the experience was just average and that health care experiences in general were not that great, Sharp began “The Sharp Experience” journey.  More than 1,000 team members voluntarily served on 100 action teams becoming the architects of change for the organization. Dedicated to enhancing relationships, environments, systems, processes, quality and service, they looked both internally and externally for examples of exceptional customer and employee engagement and service. Action team members created actions and standards to which all Sharp HealthCare team members are held accountable to positively impact customer, physician, supplier and employee satisfaction.

In 2001, Sharp HealthCare launched “The Sharp Experience”, a performance improvement initiative designed to transform the health care experience with the goals of making Sharp the best place for employees to work, the best place for physicians to practice medicine and the best place for patients to receive care.  Over the past seventeen years Sharp has incorporated many tools, practices and principles into our work, advancing The Sharp Experience. 

The Sharp Experience works to reconnect the hearts, minds and attitudes of its over 18,000 team members, 2,300 volunteers, and 2,600 affiliated physicians to purpose, worthwhile work, and making a difference. 

As the organization’s brand promise, The Sharp Experience is what everyone should expect from all interactions. It is the organization’s core competency — and differentiates Sharp from its competitors. The success of The Sharp Experience is evidenced by increased employee, physician and patient satisfaction, employee retention, clinical outcomes, employee and patient safety, net revenue, bond rating, philanthropic support, and market share.

Over the past seventeen years many tools, practices and principles have been incorporated to advance The Sharp Experience, including Magnet, Planetree and Lean Six Sigma.  Sharp HealthCare was recognized with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2007.

In 2014, Sharp leadership recognized an opportunity to enhance outcomes through a commitment to high reliability. This session will take participants on Sharp HealthCare’s more recent journey in pursuit of high reliability, including how the decision to integrate this initiative into The Sharp Experience has re-engaged an organizational commitment to the patient, physician and employee experience across the organization. The speaker will share approaches, tools and lessons learned in pursuit of a culture of reliability, safety and respect.

Creating a More Reliable Patient Experience

About Sharp Healthcare

Sharp Healthcare is a not-for-profit integrated regional healthcare delivery system located in San Diego with approximately 2,600 physicians and more than 18,000 employees. Sharp includes four acute-care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, three affiliated medical groups and a full spectrum of other facilities and services. It has had considerable benefits with operational excellence since they embarked on this journey several years ago, but how have they sustained this in the organization? Download this slide deck to see Amy Kosifas discuss their journey, and how to create a more reliable patient experience, which achieved significant benefits for their organization.


About the Author

amy kosifas pictureAmy Kosifas, Director of Sharp University at Sharp Healthcare, is responsible for leadership development and physician leadership development activities. She also has primary oversight for Sharp’s High Reliability Organization (HRO) initiative. Prior to joining Sharp, she was Program Manager for performance excellence at the Port of San Diego. Earlier positions focused on strategic planning and quality improvement at hospital systems in the Midwest, including Northwestern Healthcare and Henry Ford Hospital.  Amy is an ASQ-certified Six Sigma Black Belt and a Certified Professional in Patient Safety. She serves on the Executive Board of the California Council for Excellence, California’s state program affiliated with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. 

These slides were first presented at the Business Transformation and Operational Excellence World Summit (BTOES). To learn more, please visit

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