What is true about the healthcare experience today and what will it take to transform an industry, creating the healthcare of tomorrow?

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At Envera Health, we’re convinced that the healthcare system – hospitals and physicians – are best positioned to deliver optimal consumer experiences and health outcomes. We’re committed to transforming care to create a unified front door and keeping those who deliver care at the center of the patient relationship. To lead our industry through this change, each year Envera Health brings together healthcare leaders, caregivers, consumers, and innovators for interactive one-day forums called The Truth Lab. Leveraging the power of storytelling through several insight lenses, the Truth Lab allows us to hit pause, find inspiration and challenge the way we think about the future of healthcare.

Participants share their personal healthcare experiences through stories that we then analyze using artificial intelligence technology and in-person observations. By blending their stories, discussions, qualitative research and analytics, this report outlines what we’ve learned about real healthcare experiences today and why transforming healthcare is so daunting.

We are pleased to share this Truth Report with you and hope that it brings you energy for continued transformation, ideas to create more of the essential moments that matter most to your consumers and actions to accelerate your organization’s transformation.



When talking about improving the healthcare experience, we often try to tackle its entirety, which can be extremely overwhelming. However, through our conversations, we found that by focusing on improving a few key moments we can begin to advance the healthcare experience.

By creating a few peaks – moments that provide unexpected happiness, relief or comfort – we can leave the patient with a positive sentiment. We spent time exploring what makes certain experiences stand out, and how we can begin using that knowledge to create more memorable moments for patients.


The patient experience starts with finding the right care provider and getting in touch with them to schedule an appointment. Unfortunately, this is where many patients experience moments of frustration. Consumers want convenience.


A friendly and comforting environment in a place of care –from office visits to hospitalizations or telemedicine –can help relieve patient’s feelings of uneasiness. The physician-patient relationship is one of the key factors in motivating patients to adopt and adhere to their treatments.


When you have a moment with a patient, being attentive to their questions will help build trust. Consumers want information and expect to find it when they need it. In this digital age, consumers will turn to their digital devices to find solutions if they aren’t getting it from their care provider.


Leaving a place of care to begin the process of recovery often happens when patients are vulnerable. Walking patients through their transition plan before discharge and addressing their concerns helps build trust between the care provider and the patient.


The consumer healthcare experience does not end at discharge. Actively engaging and communicating with patients throughout their continued care will help them understand what to expect at home and how to best care for themselves.



My father had been experiencing serious pain in his leg. We had been to five different doctors, trying to understand what was causing it. Everyone told us it was a nerve issue, but none of the treatments were working. Finally, we found a doctor who listened and after ten minutes, he knew it was a circulatory issue – not a nerve issue. Within a week, my father’s pain was gone and, more importantly, he was treated for an issue that could have become much worse if left untreated.


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A male patient ended up in the emergency room after a sports injury. The physician told him he probably had a torn meniscus and referred him to an orthopedic surgeon. He was sent home with six painkillers. Once home, the patient called to make an appointment with the orthopedist but could not get in for several weeks. He did not have enough pain medication and was anxious about returning to work. He was headed back to the ER, until an Envera Health PAC intervened. She called another practice and was able to get the patient in immediately, keeping him from going to the ER.


Healthcare is made up of opportunities to create meaningful moments. As healthcare providers, we aspire to meet every patient need – physical and emotional. We strive to make a difference in the lives of those who we interact with. Taking time to listen, explain and address a patient’s concerns can help ease a patient’s mind and make all the difference.

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We need to listen carefully and deeply, not just to what consumers say, but how they’re saying it. If you listen to the tone and their breathing, you can hear the need and frustration in a patient’s voice, that is when you should try to connect with them, even if it’s just for five minutes.

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When we genuinely care and convey our concern for consumers as people, we build trust. This can be done simply by remembering to offer a warm greeting, asking how they are or telling them you understand how scary this process must be.

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Even when a patient’s problem can’t be solved, we help provide relief. People don’t always need a resolution – sometimes it just helps to know you’ve been heard.

Growing a profitable, scalable healthcare organization begins and ends with patients.

 That’s why identifying the three actionable steps to improve these moments is important foundational knowledge to support the overall transformation of healthcare.

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Stories were submitted via the Share More Stories platform and analyzed using IBM Watson Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and Personality Insights (PI) services to reveal the needs, sentiment, emotions and values expressed.

The data created from this analysis is directional in nature. It provides  reporting framework for ongoing insights of the entire healthcare experience, which can then be used to develop actionable ideas that lead to transformation. Following each result, we uncover insights gleaned from the stories and explain what we learned from sharing these insights with transformation leaders.

The Needs Analysis reveals the degree to which an author will tend to have certain needs, as compared to IBM’s broader database. We expressed the needs as percentiles, calculated by comparing the authors’ raw scores (as if they had taken a personality test) with IBM’s sample population.

The Emotions Analysis measures emotions from 0 to 1, indicating the strength of the emotion.

Sentiment is measured on scale of -1 to 1 (negative to positive) using IBM’s Natural Language Understanding.

We scored the values of the stories as a percentile compared to the broader IBM sample. The values describe the motivating factors that influence a person’s decision making.

Using the Personality Insights service, the stories return a percentile. The percentile is calculated by comparing the author’s raw score with IBM’s sample population. The score reveals the degree to which the author will tend to exhibit certain traits, as compared to IBM’s sample.


It was a morning full of calls, just like any other: scheduling appointments, taking refill requests, etc. But this call was different. It was the week of Christmas and I found myself talking to an older woman who sounded desperate for help.

She had recently broken her hip and was in rehab. She was frustrated with her care and was lonely and sad. She told me she was in pain and her rehab nurses did not seem to have time for her.

The woman was calling to cancel a previously scheduled appointment, but she wanted her doctor to know why she was canceling and what she was going through. I listened and assured her that I had canceled the appointment, and that I would let her doctor know about her broken hip and rehab.

I was patient with her and just let her talk. I let her know that I understood, and I was sorry about all she was going through.

As the call came to an end she said, “Merry Christmas to you. That is the first time I have said those words to anyone this year. Thank you for listening.” I told her how much that meant to me and I wished her a Merry Christmas, too.

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Greater need for Love, Structure, Closeness, and Stability.

The Truth Lab stories revealed a greater need for Stability, Closeness, Structure and Love than the population in IBM’s sample, which highlights the importance of these four needs in healthcare. People who work in healthcare want to deliver closeness and love, but they’re frustrated by the rules, regulations and paperwork.

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Revealing Sadness & Joy

The Truth Lab stories revealed emotional complexity, with Sadness and Joy as the emotions most often expressed in these stories. In fact, in about 80 percent of the stories we analyzed, these two emotions were either the strongest or the second-strongest. It makes sense that sadness would show up among people who want to help, but find themselves falling short for reasons they can’t control. However, there is also joy. Joy comes from providing comfort, relief, care and, best of all, a better outcome.

Joyful moments make the sad moments tolerable.

A STORY OF JOY | A Mother’s Call for Help

It’s after 5 p.m. and most offices are closed. A call comes through and the first thing I hear is children screaming at the top of their lungs. Then it gets quiet. Concerned, I introduce myself and run through the greeting: “Thank you for calling the Patient Service Center. How may I help you?” A frantic woman asks to speak with the nurse. I have to let her know, “Ma’am I am so sorry the office is closed for the day. Is there something I might be able to help you with?”

She lets out a sigh of disappointment and states that she needs her anxiety medication. Before I can say another word, I hear another scream from a child and then I hear several other voices – all young children.

The caller says that she’s a single mother with three small children and really needs her medication to be able to deal with all she has going on.

This takes me back to a time when I was a single mother of three I was on the same medications when my children were little. I am empathetic to her issue.

She starts crying, unsure of what can be done. I open up to the caller and let her know that I’ve been there myself, and I understand why this medication is important. While I’m saying this, I start typing a message to send to the nurse and the patient’s doctor for them to see in the morning.

The caller calms down for a moment and stops crying. She asks me if she will have to be on this medication for the rest of her life. I let the caller know that I’m not on medication now, but that it was a process and I had to trust my care team to get me to a point where I could be well without medication. I tell her I haven’t been on medication for years, and I’m doing great with my treatment plan. The patient feels better and thanks me for taking the time to speak with her and really listen to her.  She says she’s about to start another treatment that she was a little skeptical of, but now she has more faith in her healthcare team and the process for healing her mental health.

She wants to know what will be done about her medication. I tell her that as we’re talking, I’m getting a message together to send to her provider and the nurse requesting a refill of the medication and asking them to send it to her pharmacy on file.

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Working in Healthcare is a
Blessing and a Curse

The overall sentiment of the stories we collected was slightly negative. This reflects the difficult challenges agents and consumers face as they navigate the healthcare system together. Many shared that working in healthcare is both a blessing and a curse. They feel their work is never done.

While concepts related to medical and healthcare experiences predominate, our authors also expressed family and family-related concepts throughout many of the stories. Most participants connected the consumer healthcare experience to their own. Our health and care involve more than a patient, a provider and a health system. It takes a team with everyone acting like family.


Attendees walked away from the day feeling reaffirmed that they are on the right path.

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I SAVED A LIFE TODAY | Self-Transcendence

One day I placed a follow-up call to a patient who was recently discharged from the hospital. I asked how she was feeling and through her response, I could tell she wasn’t fully engaged in the conversation. She didn’t seem sharp; she had difficulty focusing and staying on topic. I immediately thought she sounded postictal – the period immediately following seizure.

I asked her to describe exactly how she was feeling and she said she thought she’d had another seizure. I asked her what made her think that. She responded that she fell into the bathtub when she got home from a dentist’s appointment, and her stuff was all over the bathroom. It was then that I advised we call 911, but she hesitated and said she didn’t need them anymore.

I told her that since neither of us knew why she was having seizures, we needed to get her to the emergency department as soon as possible, before she had another one that could be worse. She said she wanted to wait for her husband to arrive home in an hour. Again, I told her I wanted to call 911. She asked me to hold on for a moment and she put the phone down.

While waiting for her to come back to the phone, I could hear what sounded like rustling, and then what may have been faint moaning a few minutes later.

That’s when I asked my colleague to call 911 while I stayed on the line with the patient. About five minutes after 911 was called, I could hear a small dog barking in the background. Then I heard a male voice talking to the dog, followed by a second man telling him to take the dog outside.

I continued to listen in, unclear about what was going on and unable to decipher most of the words. Finally, I heard one of the men ask the patient, “Do you know your husband’s number at work?” At this point I knew EMS was on the scene and I disconnected from the call.

The next day I looked at the emergency department report and found that the patient was admitted to the neuro ICU for prescription drug withdrawal seizures. She had experienced another seizure in the ambulance and one in the emergency department.

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Intuitively Helping Others

Self-Transcendence is defined as showing concern for the welfare and interests of others. This was the top ranked value across all participants. Which feels intuitively right, and also reassuring – those who work in the healthcare field consistently illustrate a primary value of helping others.

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Helping Others and Conservation are Vital

Consistent with what the data has shown so far, we saw that there were two dominant traits revealed about our storytellers. Openness and Agreeableness are the only two traits that were ranked number one for any of the participants.

In this context, Openness is the extent to which a person is open to experiencing different activities. (In the previous analysis, “Openness” measured how open a respondent would be to change.) Agreeableness is a person’s tendency to be compassionate and cooperative toward others. These traits suggest empathy an flexibility, which are crucial in healthcare.


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After reading this report, we challenge you to bring your peers together for a discussion on what is true about the healthcare experience today and what it will take to transform the industry, creating the healthcare of tomorrow. Here are a few questions to get you started.

What is good about the healthcare experience today that we can use as a platform to grow from?

How can we have the structure that the healthcare industry needs while allowing space for the flexibility providers need to pivot from patient to patient?

How does care stay coordinated when healthcare across the board is siloed?

How can we be inspired by other industries and what can we adopt from their change experiences?

About Envera Health

Envera Health provides comprehensive engagement partnerships for healthcare organizations seeking to transform the patient experience and simplify the care deliver y process. Supported by a unique CRM-driven engagement center, we other a complete suite of patient engagement solutions custom-designed to improve operational efficiency and enable steady growth.