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 2015 Targets 2015 Progress
HCAHPS 90th Percentile 75th Percentile
HCAHPS Recommend Hospital 90th Percentile 80th Percentile


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 medicare.gov/hospitalcompare.

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. Furthermore, the ombudsman intervenes to support Cleveland Clinic caregivers during difficult patient and family encounters so that the clinicians may prioritize the patient’s clinical care needs in a safe manner designed to offer the best possible outcome.

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

Canine Companion

Being a patient in a hospital can be a stressful experience. Our volunteer Ambassadors selflessly serve as a meaningful extension of our ‘Patients First’ principle. 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.

Voice of the Patient Advisory Council

Patients and caregivers form these councils to improve the service and quality of care at Cleveland Clinic. These councils meet regularly and provide real-time feedback and ideas to improve the ways patients experience care.

Patient Insight Communities

Cleveland Clinic began our Patient Panel in 2008 as an anonymous mechanism to gain insight into patients’ experiences and opinions. We currently have 5,000+ active panelists, including patients from nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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. All insights are coded for confidentiality, prioritized, and shared with appropriate caregivers, managers and leaders for follow-up.

Improving the Patient Experience

“We spend a lot of time thinking about how to define the patient experience, and perhaps the answer is that patients define their own experience. We just have to be willing to see it and adapt our models, delivery systems and care paths to them.”

— Adrienne Boissy, MD, MA, Chief Experience Officer

Cultural Shift

Cleveland Clinic recognizes the patient and the caregiver have reciprocal influence, and we believe this relationship is morally valuable. To nurture this connection and improve patient satisfaction, Cleveland Clinic began an initiative that partnered our institutes and community hospitals with the Office of Patient Experience (OPE).

Over the last several years, OPE has helped to support a concerted 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 all caregivers to put patients and visitors first at every discussion, interaction and encounter by applying standard service behaviors.


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 emotional 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 nine 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 challenges 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 2015 Security 500 #4 healthcare sector ranking. For the sixth consecutive year, Cleveland Clinic ranked in the top 5, including 3 years as number one.

Quality Performance Reports

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

Read Reports