Pam Greenhouse

Pam Greenhouse

[2014 Cleveland Clinic Patient Experience Speaker Series] In our continuing series of leadership discussions, Pamela Greenhouse, Executive Director, PFCC Innovation Center of UPMC, previews her Empathy + Innovation Summit presentation. The title of her talk: Patient and Family Centered Care Methodology: Improving Experiences and Outcomes While Reducing Costs.

The “trifecta in care delivery” is the ability to improve experiences, improve outcomes and decrease cost. And to meet these objectives, Pittsburgh’s UPMC system employs an ongoing six-step approach in over 65 different clinical area, eight hospitals, and numerous pre-, post- and outpatient facilities.

In our conversation today with Pam Greenhouse, she talks about how others can easily adopt this highly effective methodology, and she previews her upcoming presentation at the Cleveland Clinic Patient Experience Summit.

In addition to using the six-step methodology at UPMC, the mission of the PFCC Innovation Center is to spread the approach. “I’m happy to say that it is increasingly being adopted around the country and internationally,” she told us. “We spend a fair amount of time presenting the concept at a variety of conferences, and we always have a great deal of interest from people who want to launch it themselves in their care settings.

“In my presentation, I’m going to describe the six steps of the patient- and family-centered care methodology, and I’m going to show how simple it is to implement this approach. I will be going into depth about one of the six steps, which is ‘shadowing.’

“Shadowing identifies the current state of care delivery through direct, real-time observation of every segment of a care experience. Significantly, we look at those through the eyes of patients and families, not through our own eyes as care providers.”

Here are some additional highlights from our recent conversation:

What’s surprising…

“People are most surprised at how easy this is, Pam explained. There are a lot of quality improvement approaches that are interesting and effective, but they take a lot of training, education and time. This approach is really simple. You could learn about it at the conference and start doing it the next day.”

In addition, people are surprised at how it engages patients and families in redesigning care delivery, and they are surprised that it doesn’t cost anything. Answers are within reach and often require a process change, not something that is costly.

A take-home lesson you can use…

“The single most important ‘take-home’ is that shadowing is a game-changer. Commonly, patient satisfaction and patient experience are viewed as after-the-fact and data-driven. But what real-time, direct observation does is to create an emotional connection that you can’t get from after-the-fact data. And it creates an urgency to drive change.

“If you’re not ready to implement all six steps of the PFCC Methodology, just by shadowing you’ll find opportunities to make tremendous changes for patients, your staff and the organization.”

For more about these and other insightful ideas, listen to our conversation now.


  • Pamela K. Greenhouse, MBA, Executive Director, PFCC Innovation Center of UPMC
  • Title: The Patient and Family Centered Care Methodology: Improving Experiences and Outcomes While Reducing Costs
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Individuals who are attending the Summit will want to attend Pam Greenhouse’s presentation about Patient Experience Improvement Strategies on the morning of Wednesday, May 21st.

FOR MORE in this continuing educational leadership series, previous Healthcare Success interviews are available on this page.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT the Cleveland Clinic 5th Annual Patient Experience: Empathy + Innovation Summit, click through to this page.

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Pamela K. Greenhouse, MBA, Executive Director, PFCC Innovation Center of UPMC, has over 25 years of progressive leadership experience in health care operations, strategy, and administration in a variety of health care settings, including acute care, rehabilitation, and outpatient services. She has a master’s degree in Organizational Behavior and has co-authored 24 papers that have appeared in peer-reviewed scholarly journals in the areas of patient and family centered care, health care outcomes and process assessment, and health care delivery models. Pam also serves on the Advisory Board for the non-profit

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