Patient Experience

Our patients come to us with the expectation that they will meet with world class professionals and receive individualized care for the best possible outcomes. To provide this level of care, Cleveland Clinic uses mechanisms to measure our patients’ experience and gather their feedback to identify opportunities for improvement. This data informs our policies, procedures, communications and program development.

Patient Experience Goals

Measure 2016 Targets 2016 Progress
HCAHPS 90th Percentile 78th Percentile
HCAHPS Recommend Hospital 90th Percentile 82th Percentile

*Progress and target percentiles are for the entire Cleveland Clinic enterprise.


For acute care hospitals nationwide, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has designed and required administration of the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. This survey measures patients’ perspectives of their hospital care. Results are publicly reported at

In April 2016, Healthgrades awarded two Cleveland Clinic system hospitals, main campus and Fairview Hospital, with its Outstanding Patient Experience Award. This award recognizes the top 15 percent of hospitals nationwide based upon achievement of clinical quality standards and highest ratings offered by their patients from the HCAHPS survey.

Outpatient Experience Surveys

In addition to fielding mandatory survey instruments, Cleveland Clinic also surveys outpatients with questions related to appointment scheduling and access, waiting time, physician communications, courtesy, overall assessment, and recommendation of care.

We use this information to guide our organizational improvement strategies and departmental goals. Survey ratings are incorporated within quarterly institute reviews to monitor patient experience for specific clinical populations and to identify emerging areas for targeted improvement.

Ombudsman Office

Patients and families provide direct feedback through our Ombudsman Office, which helps to investigate and resolve patient concerns. The Ombudsman Office tracks and shares this information with our top administrators and uses it in annual physician and department reviews in order to help identify and drive performance improvement opportunities. Furthermore, the ombudsman serve as the liaison between the hospital and the patient in resolving problems that may arise during the course of treatment. They also support and facilitate caregiver needs in responding to challenging situations with individual patients.

The Center for Ethics, Humanities & Spiritual Care

This Center brings together services that support patients, educate caregivers, and assure ethical practices. These programs include Bioethics, Healing Services (including Code Lavender), Medical Humanities, NeuroEthics and Spiritual Care departments. At any time, caregivers, patients and families may call upon these specially trained caregivers for support and guidance.

Volunteer Program

Petting Dog

Cleveland Clinic Volunteers devote their time to assisting patients and visitors at enterprise-wide information desks; visiting hospitalized adult and pediatric patients on nursing units; delivering patient mail; and by providing a supportive presence to those individuals and their loved ones who come to Cleveland Clinic. Their participation helps to reduce patient suffering and anxiety through creative programs such as High Tea for cancer patients and the Caring Canines program, featuring patient visits by specially trained and nationally certified dogs and their owners.

Our Voice: Healthcare Partners

Healthcare Partners are defined as patients, the community that cares for them and the Cleveland Clinic caregivers who work to transform healthcare, support the Cleveland Clinic’s vision of Patients First and provide relationship-centered care. Healthcare partners’ perspective is sought for all aspects of healthcare from design through delivery and incorporating the development of hospital policy, protocol and governance in the process.

Opportunities to execute this involvement include: being a member of regularly convening council, working on short term special projects with defined goals, co-design of construction and space planning such as exam rooms and waiting areas, participating on committees focused on improving quality, patient safety, population health and ethics, speaking about their experiences in public, participating on research projects and responding to surveys or electronic feedback.

Monthly Leadership Rounding

Cleveland Clinic leadership pursues patient and caregiver feedback through a formal monthly rounding program on inpatient units and outpatient clinics throughout the enterprise. Offered in collaboration with nursing, quality, safety and continuous improvement the goals of leadership rounding are to support and improve patient care, identify opportunities for improving the patient and caregiver experience as well as increase caregiver engagement and recognition.

“Empathic design of the future will require a deeper understanding of what matters most to those we serve... a personalized experience that exceeds all expectations.”

—Adrienne Boissy, MD, MA, Chief Experience Officer

Cultural Shift

Cleveland Clinic recognizes the importance of the relationship between the patient and the caregiver.  To nurture this connection and improve the experience of our patients, families, and caregivers, Cleveland Clinic began relationship centered initiatives through the Office of Patient Experience (OPE).

Over the last several years, OPE has helped to support an effort to build and sustain a culture of service excellence across the entire enterprise. Programs such as Communicate with H.E.A.R.T. ® empower every caregiver to apply standard service behaviors to all interactions, and to consistently respond with compassion and empathy in our conversations with patients, families and fellow caregivers. 

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We publicly share patient experience ratings with the general population and with all physicians and nursing units. Visitors to our website can see how other patients have rated our individual physicians and at any time our caregivers can track their area’s patient satisfaction ratings and feedback on our internal patient experience dashboard.


We are working towards standardizing not only clinical care, but also compassionate and empathetic care across the enterprise to nurture the experience patients have under our care. This is accomplished by engaging with our caregivers around our established expected service behaviors, sharing of best practices across the system and the work of our patient experience managers, who are staffed across our regional hospitals. These patient experience managers work hard to engage caregivers to help solve the unique patient experience-related opportunities at each hospital and with every patient interaction.

Meanwhile, physicians and advanced care providers are offered communications skills training through the R.E.D.E. to Communicate‚Ą† program. This relationship-centered model, managed by the Center for Excellence in Healthcare Communication, aims to increase the value of the provider-patient interaction and to improve patient engagement and active participation into their care.

Protective Services

Cleveland Clinic Protective Services earned the 2016 Security 500 #2 healthcare sector ranking. For the seventh consecutive year, Cleveland Clinic ranked in the top 5, including 3 years as number one.

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Caring Canines

Girl And Dog Companion

Quality Performance Reports

Our Quality Performance Reports include information about Cleveland Clinic’s hospitals’ performance in treating common conditions.

Read Reports