2013 National Client Conference

2013 Conference Highlights

The annual Press Ganey National Client and Executive Leadership Conferences provide a forum for health care executives and professionals to collaborate and actively engage in the dialogue around advancing the patient experience. The 2013 event, “A Voice for Every Patient,” held in Orlando, Fla., focused on the need to give every patient the opportunity to be heard, and the importance of elevating the voices of physicians and employees. Together, these perspectives make up a critical component of the patient experience improvement journey.

CEO Pat Ryan welcomed more than 2,000 health care professionals to the event, and kicked off what would be three days of learning and networking with “The Voices of Health Care,” a Press Ganey documentary recognizing the indomitable spirit of caregivers who work tirelessly and selflessly to deliver patient-centered care in the face of extreme adversity.

Through interviews with caregivers, first responders and patients who were touched by recent catastrophes—Hurricane Sandy; the tornadoes that devastated Moore, Oklahoma; the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas; and the Boston Marathon bombing—the video showcased the importance of coordinated systems of care, as well as the need for compassionate communication in which the voice of every patient is heard and valued. Even amid these tragedies, caregivers were focused and determined to deliver high quality care, in order to reduce patient suffering.

Ryan applauded the tremendous efforts of health care providers, noting that together with Press Ganey, they are advancing the patient experience across the continuum of care. As a gesture of gratitude, Ryan announced that, in the spirit of “paying it forward” and continuing a tradition among health care providers of supporting colleagues, 80 client facilities would receive a delivery of pizzas that day to recognize and appreciate their continued dedication to patient-centered care.


Chris Van Gorder, President and CEO of Scripps Health, was announced as the recipient of the 2013 Press Ganey Innovation Award. Presented annually, the award recognizes individuals or organizations that have transformed the patient experience, repeatedly pushing boundaries and acting on opportunities to improve the care experience. Press Ganey President Joe Greskoviak presented the award, describing Van Gorder as a passionate and influential leader who engages employees and fosters a patient-focused culture.


The roster of keynotes was truly impressive. Each speaker provided a unique perspective and broadened the dialogue around the current and future state of health care.

Jillian Michaels, perhaps best known as the tough life coach and trainer on TV’s Biggest Loser, revealed a softer side to the audience. She kicked off Monday afternoon with a motivational address, urging attendees to take care of themselves so they can have the physical and emotional strength to take care of others. Caregivers are known for their heroism and sacrifice, she said, but to rise to the challenges they face every day, they must save some of their healing energy for themselves.

On Monday evening, the Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton captured the attention of attendees when she cited the critical role good data play in improving health care. She stressed that health care leaders must pay attention to trend lines, not headlines. In an informal interview in which the former Secretary of State fielded questions from attendees, she responded candidly on a broad range of topics, from the most difficult decision she has ever made to the coolest thing about Air Force One.

Dr. Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon, health care visionary and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, shared stories of his own interactions with patients to illustrate the increasing complexity of health care and the necessity for all care providers to work collaboratively. Acknowledging that mistakes are inevitable, he noted that the defining difference between a good health care organization and a bad one is how it reacts when things go wrong.


During the annual Awards Lunch, Press Ganey announced its 2013 award-winning health care organizations. More than 400 institutions across the continuum of care were recognized for their efforts and performance achievements around improving the quality and safety of patient care, providing a positive and collaborative environment for employees and physicians, and delivering exceptional patient experiences.


The pavilion was a central gathering place for attendees to meet Press Ganey subject-matter experts and learn more about solutions and recent innovations to help clients improve the entire patient experience. In addition, the conference mobile app included downloadable resources for the solutions highlighted at each information station.


More than 80 breakout sessions provided conference attendees a fantastic opportunity to learn from and with peers. Sessions highlighted best practices on key health care issues, as well as case studies and success stories from a cross section of client organizations. Health care professionals across the continuum of care gathered actionable insights and strategies to improve the patient experience. Seventy-eight sessions were eligible for continuing education credits, which was a tremendous benefit to the many clients pursuing professional development and certifications.

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