Anatomy of a Home Run

Added on Jan 13, 2014

When deciding how best to “illustrate” the collective voices of health care for the cover of the most recent issue of Partners magazine, the editorial staff threw around a lot of ideas. Most conveyed the concept of a group or a team comprising many distinct parts that are integral to the whole. Such an image would serve as a visual metaphor for the idea that every stakeholder in the health care delivery process—patients, doctors, nurses, employees and administrators, among many others—has a unique perspective and deserves to be heard. Taken together, the many voices tell a powerful story, dotted with improvement opportunities at every turn.

We narrowed our search down to an orchestra or choir because the idea that every voice or instrument was essential to the overall sound resonated with us (pun intended). Then, through a unique confluence of fortunate circumstances, we were able to raise the metaphor to a new level by acquiring a photograph depicting actual “voices of health care” working together to make beautiful music.

Here is the back story: Partners is produced primarily out of Press Ganey’s Boston-based office. Baseball is big in Boston. At the Red Sox home opener in April 2013, a brand-new chorus took the field to perform the National Anthem. The all-volunteer Dana-Farber Jimmy Fund chorus—formed in 2013 to commemorate the partnership between the Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund charity—is made up of more than 150 voices of health care: former and current patients, families, friends, doctors, nurses and employees of Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute partners with Press Ganey in its ongoing efforts to optimize the patient experience. As a freestanding academic cancer center, Dana-Farber is also a provider of focused specialty care, which, as it happened, was the subject of the feature story to which the cover image would be linked. Specifically, the objective of the feature story was to highlight how listening to the voice of every stakeholder helps specialty health care organizations meet the unique challenges related to the services they provide and the populations they serve.

Through this one picture, which was graciously provided to us by the Boston Red Sox photo department, we covered all of the bases—a chorus made up of the many voices of health care working together to achieve a powerful harmony.

Plus, the Red Sox won the World Series, which isn’t really part of the story, but it makes for a grand slam ending.