Office of The Patient Experience

The Patient Experience is shaped by the culture of UI Hospitals & Clinics and is the outcome of all who interact with one another across the continuum of care. We are ALL the Patient Experience. It is crucial that we all connect with compassion and purpose each and every time that we interact with our patients, visitors, and each other.

Our Patient Relations program is staffed with Patient Relations Specialists dedicated to assisting patients and families when their experience is not what they expected from UI Hospitals &Clinics. These staff members work closely with patients and families to understand concerns and work closely with UI Hospitals & Clinics staff involved to find a resolution.  They also pass on compliments and kudos to care team members when patients provide positive feedback about their experience.

Our Patient Education program is responsible for developing and coordinating resources related to patient education, health literacy, and plain language communication at UI Hospitals & Clinics. Our specialists work across all disciplines to help ensure we provide our patients and families with optimal education regarding health conditions, promotion, and prevention.

Our Strategic Improvement Team consists of specialists and coaches that support Patient Experience improvement work across the organization. These individuals work with leaders across UI Hospital & Clinics to share patient experience data, strategize, and recommend action steps designed to elevate the patient and family experience. They develop and deliver service excellence training designed to hardwire consistent behaviors that enhance the care experience for our patients. Notable programs include Compassionate Connected Care (C3) and providing individualized coaching to faculty and staff as part of our Provider Communication Program.

Our Guest Services department provides auxiliary services and programs to enhance the patient and family experience. A dedicated team of nearly 150 permanent staff, students and volunteers support Patient Escort and Valet services, Information Desks, Concierge Services, the Rossi Guest House Lodging Program and Centralized Equipment Distribution.

Our Spiritual Services department is comprised of professionally trained chaplains who help patients and families cope with distress from illness, injury and unanticipated life events. Chaplains respectfully meet patients and families within the context of their own beliefs, values, and situations. You do not need to be religious or spiritual to benefit from the support and services our chaplains deliver. As part of our team, both Catholic and Interfaith chaplains are available to meet patient and family needs.

Our COPE program provides emotional support to staff after challenging events and helps them cope with cumulative stress. The COPE team includes three fulltime chaplains dedicated to staff support and a multidisciplinary team of volunteers who can respond to the needs of individuals or groups. The COPE team helps create a supportive work environment by providing peer support training, team-building activities, and educational programs.

Our Interpreter Services department provides real-time interpreter and translation services for patients who do not speak English fluently or require American sign-language support. Patients and families can use these services during clinic visits, hospital stays, or other encounters with hospital staff.  Our services include in person, telephone and video interpreting.

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics Project Art is one of the oldest and most extensive arts in healthcare programs in the Midwest if not the nation. Our mission is to advance the expressive arts role in healthcare settings through the integration of art in all public spaces and patient treatment areas, which includes musical performances where appropriate. These experiences create meaningful opportunities for engagement while offering occasions for social interaction, discussion, and storytelling or moments for personal reflection, meditation, and respite. We hold around 6,500 original works of art by international, historically significant, and emerging artists in our permanent collection. Our changing exhibition program promotes local and regional artists with 16 exhibitions scheduled annually. Project Art also provides project-based learning experiences for students in the University of Iowa Museum Studies program and UI School of Art and Art History.

The Patients’ Library was established in 1932 as the first patient support service at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The library is responsible for providing materials for recreation, distraction, and patient education and services including technology, popular materials, health information and health literacy assistance. The Patients’ Library demonstrates excellence in use of evidence-based best practices, education for patients, resources for staff, and the community, and fosters a positive work environment, and leadership in provision of these services. In 2017, the Children’s Library was opened as a branch of the Patients’ Library. This allows the libraries to provide service and an additional location in closer proximity to a wider range of patients and families. Both locations serve the needs of patients of all ages. The Patients’ Library and Children’s Library strive to exceed expectations and anticipate the needs of all patients, families, visitors, volunteers, and staff who utilize the libraries.

Current Goals and Focus

Our patients’ voices are heard in many ways including through patient feedback collected by the paper and electronic surveys they receive after an encounter with UI Hospitals & Clinics. Staff in the Office of the Patient Experience work throughout UI Hospitals & Clinics, sharing what our patients tell us is important to them and working with leaders on experience improvement efforts aimed at helping us achieve patient experience rankings at the 90th percentile or above for “likelihood to recommend.”

Office of The Patient Experience Biographies

Department Leadership

Strategic Improvement Team

Patient Education

Guest Services 

Guest Services Supervisors assist hundreds of patients and visitors each day, whether directly on the front line or indirectly via their teams. (Left to Right) Mike Andrew, Paul Sanders, Vesta Rodby, Josh Vanden Berg and Doug Krutsinger.

Spiritual Services 

COPE Program

Interpreting Services Biographies

Project Art Biographies

Patient’s Library