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Innovator Spotlight

Duke Health


Alida in collaboration with Duke Health


Jennifer Maddocks PT, MMCi, CPXP

Director of Patient Experience

Duke Health Digital Strategy Office

As members of Duke Health’s Digital Strategy Office, Jennifer Maddocks and Kelly Gagnon have built an approach to patient research that's created “the continuum of patient voice.”


Kelly Gagnon

Management Engineer

Duke Health Digital Strategy Office

As key parts of the cross-functional Patient Experience team, they scale the patient voice to inform a wide array of initiatives across the healthcare system.

Improving the End-to-End Patient Experience

Duke Health has long been conducting on-site improvement opportunities with patients and families along with sending post-encounter satisfaction surveys. While these methods provide valuable insight, the evolving healthcare landscape required faster and more flexible tools to meet the needs of the health system and the community they serve.

Jennifer and Kelly set out to change the way Duke Health gathers insights. Top of the list was delivering results that accurately reflect the diversity of the population Duke Health serves. They also wanted to meet Duke’s goal of being more nimble with improvement work and ensuring they were reflecting this work back to community members. Specifically, by sharing back results and ensuring participants feel their input is valued and impacting change.

Jennifer and Kelly launched Duke Health Listens (DHL), a private digital community now over 3,000 strong. Following a Design Thinking methodology, Duke now tests ideas, iterates, and tests again, with the community providing input every step of the way. Recent projects helped to make Duke’s online patient portal and appointment scheduling more user friendly and efficient, increased confidence in the cleanliness of patient rooms, assisted in research recruitment, improved educational tools, and more.

“Over the past year we’ve seen patients responding favorable to our changes and utilizing these features more. We know part of the success can be attributed to the DHL community,” says Kelly, who is charged with reporting results to stakeholders. The speed and efficiency that Jennifer and Kelly are able to provide insights is key to not only effecting organizational change but proving to patients that their voices are heard and having an impact.

Best Practices

  1. Put the right people at the table. We all have a part to play and bring different skills. Having someone on your team who really understands how to write surveys is critical in the beginning. Also, make sure you have a good customer success manager who can work with you.
  2. Share results with your community. We always share back two things. One: What we learned. Two: What we’re going to do about it.
  3. Measure value in different ways. To show ROI, we compare the work of our in-house team with the cost of getting these types of insights from an outside agency. This methodology has helped us demonstrate savings of $200k in the first year alone. That said, the most important measurement of value is the recognition of why the patient voice matters.

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Alida is a Community Research platform that helps the world's biggest brands create highly engaged research communities to gather feedback that fuels better customer experiences and product innovation.