“I have been to a handful of national conferences throughout my career, and this one was, by far, the best. The wide variety of topics covered in sessions was truly impressive—there was a learning track for everyone. The attention to detail on every element of the experience was remarkable. I will most assuredly be back.”

-2017 Attendee



Press Ganey offers a variety of optional opportunities for attendees to explore additional content before the event begins to maximize your conference experience. Consulting Workshops are interactive, consultant-led sessions that provide tactical strategies in a focused group setting. Preconference meetings provide targeted content to designed for nurse leaders as well as health care providers from rural and small community hospitals. Ideal for peer-to-peer networking, these sessions offer attendees a chance to share and learn best practices for improving care delivery.


All preconferences will be held Monday, Nov. 12, prior to the opening keynote. The registration fee for each preconference meeting ranges from $89 - $299. Space is limited so reserve your spot today.


​Monday, Nov. 12, 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | $89

Nursing Leadership Preconference Meeting

Designed for nursing leadership, this special preconference meeting will explore best practices and leadership strategies to deliver nursing excellence and ensure compassionate, connected care for patients. Hosted by Christina Dempsey, chief nursing officer, Press Ganey, the meeting will feature presentations from chief nursing officer speakers on the topics of practice environment, nurse manager leadership development and improving nurse wellness. Networking lunch will be provided.

9:30 – 9:​​40 a.m.
Welcome Remarks
Christina Dempsey, MSN, CNOR, CENP, FAAN; Chief Nursing Officer; Press Ganey

9:​​40 – 10:​25 a.m.
Aspects of the Nurse Manager Practice Environment that Support Job Performance 
Nora E. Warshawsky, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CNE, FAAN; Professor; University of Central Florida

Nurse managers create environments to achieve quality patient experiences and outcomes, lower costs of care, and create high performance teams at the point of care. Nurse managers practice in a variety of environments—some are supportive while others may inhibit nurse manager performance. In this session, Dr. Warshawsky will share findings from her study of 647 nurse managers. Participants will learn which elements of the practice environment support nurse managers’ job performance, as well as strategies to create positive practice environments. 

10:​25 – 11:​40 a.m.
Advancing Nurse Wellness to Improve the Health of the Nation
Mary Jo Assi, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, FAAN; SVP, Clinical Excellence Solutions; Associate Chief Nursing Officer; Press Ganey
Bonnie Clipper, DNP, RN, MA, MBA, CENP, FACHE; VP, Practice and Innovation; American Nurses Association (ANA)
Susan Hernandez, MBA, BSN, RN; Health System Chief Nurse Executive; UT Southwestern University Hospitals

Comprising the largest category of health care workers, nurses are critical to America’s health care system. Nurses promote, protect and optimize the health of their patients by preventing illness and injury, facilitating healing and alleviating suffering. The well-being of nurses is fundamental to the health of our nation. Learn how leaders at UT Southwestern University Hospitals are promoting better health habits to nurses in alignment with principles from the ANA Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Grand Challenge (HNHN GC).

11:40 – 12:15 a.m.
Networking Break. Lunch will be served. 

​Monday, Nov. 12, 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | $89

Rural and Small Community Hospitals Preconference Meeting

Rural, small community and critical access hospitals face unique challenges when it comes to delivering comprehensive, coordinated health care. This preconference meeting will feature speakers from top-performing facilities that will present case studies highlighting their patient experience and cultural improvement best practices. Attendees will learn strategies for providing exceptional emergency care and maximizing the effectiveness of workforce huddles to improve patient safety and overall patient experience.

9:30 – 9:​​40 a.m.
Welcome Remarks
Rene Zipper, MBA, FACHE, Vice President of Sales, Press Ganey

9:​​40 – 10:​25 a.m.
Capturing Your Team's Actions and Words to Achieve an Exceptional Experience Culture 
Kenneth McHattie, MS, Director Patient Experience, Memorial Health

In this session, attendees will learn about The People Cycle, a patient experience model that was implemented at a low cost with minimal resources to transform the medical transaction into a patient-inspired and values-driven culture. The model identifies six key attributes of the exceptional patient experience (People, Relationships, Collaboration, Stories, Themes, and Values), and shows how these attributes form exceptional experiences by promoting the best of what an organization has to offer. Presenters will use real-life examples of how Memorial Health leveraged these six items to create an ongoing cycle of patient experience improvement. 

10:​25 – 11:​40 a.m.
How Do We Stay Sane Enough to Care? The Need for Caregiver Resiliency in the ED 
Audrey Cortez, RN, MSN, Director of Patient Experience, Peterson Health

This session will cover Peterson Health’s journey to improving the patient experience in a busy rural ED setting. Peterson Health’s ED had only average scores on EDCAHPS survey questions measuring patients’ likelihood to recommend the ED and how often patients felt their nurses/doctors treated them with courtesy and respect. Led by a mission to provide exceptional, compassionate, patient-centered care, leaders realized the ED staff and providers were experiencing compassion fatigue and burnout at an alarming rate, and this was translating into a less-than-optimal experience for patients. Using current research on developing resiliency in health care, including numerous resources from Press Ganey, leaders developed two 90-minute sessions during which staff and providers were coached on such leadership tools as QTIP, Empathy vs. Sympathy, Managing Your List, Circle of Concern/Influence, and Ways of Being—Person vs. Object. Today, staff and providers use empathetic statements with each patient, and state they are better able to manage their stress and avoid judgment. The facility’s ranking on the EDCAHPS survey has increased to above the 90th percentile, but the greatest achievement is that staff and providers voice feeling a renewed sense of purpose and accomplishment in their work. Attend this session to learn more about Peterson Health’s journey and how you can apply these strategies and techniques in your facility. 

11:40 – 12:15 a.m.
Networking Break. Lunch will be served. 

​Monday, Nov. 12, ​7:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | $299

HPI Press Ganey Safety Summit Preconference Meeting

To facilitate in-depth learning, networking and best-practice sharing, we offer ​three Reliability Institute workshop courses ​Monday morning that enable attendees to explore topics and issues specific to leadership, integrating safety, quality and experience of care, establishing and maintaining a culture of safety, and strategies to aid you in your mission ​of  Zero Harm. Each session will be led by senior HPI Press Ganey consultants who will offer deep insight and measurable solutions to help you improve care.

7:00 – 8:00 a.m. 
Safety Summit Breakfast

8:00 – ​8:45 a.m. 
Welcome Remarks

​9:00 – 11:​​15 a.m.
Reliability Institute Courses (select one)

1:  Culture Transformation (Expert)
Tami Strong, BSN, RN, MSN-HCQ,
Director, Consulting, Press Ganey
Gordon Smith, Consultant, Press Ganey

Learn about High Reliability Organizing in this session and about strategies for leveraging your safety and HRO work across all organizational priorities including quality, engagement, experience and efficiency.

2: Leading for a Safe and Reliable Culture (Intermediate)
Shannon Sayles, RN, MS, MA
, Senior Manager, Consulting, Press Ganey
Rob Douglass, MNE Consultant, Press Ganey

Effective leadership for safety and reliability culture transformation is a primary critical success factor in achieving Zero Harm. In this session, we will cover dos and don’ts for safety culture leadership and share best practices from members of the HPI client family. The session is suitable both for leaders as well as for the individuals who support them.

3: Next-Generation Interventions for Safety and Reliability (Advanced)
Dave Varnes, CDR, USN (Ret.), MSAE,
Senior Manager, Consulting, Press Ganey
Kerry Butler, Pharm D, MBA, Consultant, Press Ganey

If you have completed the major components of your safety culture transformation, you may be asking “What’s next?” Learn how to sustain and advance your transformation through collegiality, teaming, work force safety and other next-generation strategies.

11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Safety Cinema Luncheon


All workshops will be held Monday, Nov. 12, 8:00 - 11:00 a.m. The registration fee for each workshop is $299. Breakfast will be provided to all workshop attendees starting at 7:00 a.m. Space is limited so reserve your spot today.


Monday, Nov. 12, 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.

A Systemic Approach to Improving Patient Access

Adam Higman, DHA, Partner, Strategic Consulting, Press Ganey

In today’s complex health care environment, many organizations struggle to improve patient access to services across the care continuum. In an attempt to overcome this challenge, organizations often implement solutions that focus on centralized appointment scheduling, capacity expansion or increased throughput. While these efforts can move the needle, organizations often miss systemic opportunities for improving access. This workshop will review key drivers for improving patient access at both the local and system levels, and will feature case studies illustrating the problems many organizations face, along with the solutions they implemented to resolve them.

This workshop will review key drivers for improving patient access at both the local and system levels. Specific topics will include:

      - Identifying bottlenecks in the system,
      - Integrating focused solutions with a systemic redesign,
      - Care coordination, risk stratification and population health models, and
      - Aligning services and resources with demand in ambulatory environments.

Monday, Nov. 12, 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Unlocking Emotional Intelligence: Practical Strategies for Building Self-Awareness

Mike Heyner, MEd, Managing Engagement Advisor, Press Ganey
David Shinsel, MA, Strategic Consultant, Press Ganey

Emotional intelligence has been shown to improve personal relationships, promote personal well-being and help predict personal success. Organizations committed to transformational improvement recognize how people shape the culture of the organization, and ultimately, the patient experience. In this workshop, we will take a deep dive into self-awareness, the foundation of emotional intelligence. The workshop will include interactive exercises and best-practice strategies for building resilience, increasing engagement and improving the skills that help make us better leaders, caregivers and colleagues.

Workshop attendees will walk away with tools and techniques for:

      - Observing and understanding the self
      - Shifting thoughts and behaviors that reinforce negative patterns
      - Building mindfulness skills into daily practice

Monday, Nov. 12, 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Improving Physician Communication: Strategies for Building a Relationship-Centered Culture

Laura Cooley, PhD, Senior Director of Education and Outreach, ​Academy of Communication in Healthcare
Calvin Chou, MD, PhD, Vice President, External Education, Academy of Communication in Healthcare

Relationship-centered communication skills lead to better outcomes for patients, clinicians, health care teams and health care institutions. In this workshop, faculty from the Academy of Communication in Healthcare (ACH) will guide participants through an abbreviated version of the standard full-day, evidence-based training program the ACH provides to clinicians.

This interactive workshop, led by ACH’s Laura Cooley, PhD, Senior Director of Education and Outreach, and Calvin Chou, MD, Vice President of External Education, is designed for physicians and physician leaders who are interested in learning more about best practices in physician communication and relationship-centered cultures. The workshop will explore the following topics:

      - The importance of building communication skills among clinicians
      - The processes and outcomes employed by health systems that are implementing a communication skills training program
      - Best practices for implementing a communication skills improvement effort

Monday, Nov. 12, 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Implicit Bias and Patient Experience: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Ingrid Summers, MHS, Consultant, Press Ganey
Shannon Vincent, MA, Manager, Strategic Consulting, Press Ganey

As organizations work to improve the patient experience, it is important that they understand how implicit bias, as a component of diversity, equity and inclusion, can impact success. Aligning patient experience strategies with diversity, equity and inclusion strategies can help health care organizations meet the needs of a diverse patient and employee population and can positively impact the safety and quality of care. 

Designed for patient experience leaders and associated human resources colleagues, this workshop will explore the concept of implicit bias and how it affects health care delivery. Press Ganey consultants Ingrid Summers and Shannon Vincent will showcase strategies, tools and practices that support an inclusive environment which positively impacts the patient and employee experience. The workshop will also cover the following topics:

      - The intersection of patient experience and diversity, equity and inclusion and how they impact each other
      - How to establish a cultural foundation and behavioral practices for improving service behaviors and supporting consistent operational processes, with the goal of diversity, equity and inclusion
      - How to determine next steps for your organization in relation to patient experience and diversity, equity and inclusion

Monday, Nov. 12, 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Principles for Transforming the Medical Practice

Chrissy Daniels, MS, Partner, Strategic Consulting, Press Ganey

In today’s increasingly consumer-driven health care market, medical practice experience is emerging as a powerful lever in acquiring and retaining patients. Organizations are looking for sustainable improvement, but struggle when tactical solutions deliver only short-term gains. Transforming practice environments requires an understanding of how culture, process, teamwork and design thinking intersect to create highly reliable clinic experiences that both engage patients and support physicians. Chrissy Daniels, Partner, Medical Practice Solutions, Press Ganey, will lead this interactive workshop that will allow for discussion and problem solving of participants’ current challenges.

Areas of focus include:

      - Key drivers for improving patient experience and making the clinic a better place for physicians to practice,
      - Assessing and advancing your practice culture,
      - Daily standard work to increase clinic session effectiveness,
      - Leveraging experience data for team engagement and improvement, and
      - Fundamentals of clinic flow.

Monday, Nov. 12, 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Developing a Successful Patient Experience Strategy: Why Tactics Alone Won’t Get You to Success

Ann Bailey, MBA, Senior Manager, Strategic Consulting, Press Ganey
Jeff Thompson, MBA, CPHQ, Director of Advisory Services, Press Ganey

The patient experience field has advanced rapidly over the past decade. Consequently, many organizations struggle to understand the components of a comprehensive patient experience strategy. Common pitfalls that impede the creation of a comprehensive strategy include placing the responsibility for the patient experience solely on the patient experience department (a siloed approach), too many tactics, and/or a singular focus on data management. This interactive session, led by Press Ganey’s Ann Bailey, Senior Consulting Manager, and Jeff Thompson, Director of Advisory Services, is designed for leaders from all departments who have responsibility for the patient experience.

This interactive workshop, led by Press Ganey’s Ann Bailey, Senior Consulting Manager, and Jeff Thompson, Director of Advisory Services, is designed for leaders from all departments who have responsibility for the patient experience. The workshop will explore the following topics:

      - Understanding how and why an organization’s patient experience scores remain static
      - Learning how high-performing organizations form strategic areas of focus
      - Linking active tactics to strategy to assist in prioritization and sustainability of efforts
      - Using a strategic road map to help your organization stay focused and achieve success