Patient Experience & Voice
Edwards Lifesciences’ work to improve Patient Experience and Voice supports our Aspirations to Transform Patient Care Through Innovative Technologies and Attract and Engage Talented Employees.
Edwards Lifesciences is focused on providing therapies that save and enhance patient lives. We understand that too often, patients do not have enough influence over the type of treatment they receive or a say in the administration of their care. As part of our research and development, we work to incorporate patients’ input into the development of our products. By listening to patients, we can provide care that meets their individual needs and preferences. Additionally, we know patients do better when they have support from others. For this reason, we sponsor patient listening sessions, support patient advocacy groups and help patients exercise their voices in the policy making process.
Growing the Patient Voice Through Partnerships
When patients use their voices, they do more than advocate for themselves—they inspire others to speak up and support each other toward healthier outcomes. Edwards Lifesciences Foundation provides charitable grants to the American Heart Association to support the Heart Valve Ambassador Program, a group of dedicated individuals who offer resources and support to heart valve patients. Our Foundation also supports Heart Valve Voice—a patient-focused advocacy organization—to develop and share collections of patient stories. Other patient advocacy programs the Foundation has supported include:
- Mended Hearts Trained Accredited Patient Visitor Program
- Mended Hearts Peer Advocate program
- WomenHeart: National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease and Heart Champions program
- Patient Advocate Foundation’s Heart Valve CareLine and Financial Aid Fund
Our annual Patient Day brings together patients and caregivers at our corporate headquarters in Irvine, California. They participate in discussions, learn about our innovations and meet the Edwards employees who make our heart valves. Edwards also hopes to give our heart valve recipients the opportunity to connect with other patients and share their experiences. At Patient Day, we empower patients to use their experiences to help themselves and others. At Patient Day, attendees had the opportunity to:
- Learn about heart valve and critical care innovations;
- Meet Edwards leaders and employees dedicated to serving patients;
- Participate in discussions to help improve the patient-caregiver experience;
- Tour our manufacturing facility; and
- Meet employees who designed or handcrafted their device.
The experience for those suffering from valvular disease remains complex and filled with obstacles. The treatment process can be inconsistent from one patient to the next. Through our Patient Day program, Edwards gains important insight into the patient journey, from symptoms and diagnosis through recovery, including patient-defined concerns. These learnings help us identify opportunities to address these gaps, and to prioritize tools, support resources and programs we develop to improve patient access, experience and outcomes.
2016 Patient Day
Incorporating Patient Needs
Edwards strives to ensure all patients have a voice in shaping their treatment experience. Many patients benefit from minimally invasive procedures, and we have responded by driving innovation in Transcatheter Aortic Heart Valve Replacement (TAVR) technology. TAVR allows physicians to replace heart valves with a catheter instead of surgically opening the chest. To learn more about patient experiences with Edwards’ heart valves, browse our collection of patient stories.
Edwards believes informed patients have a more successful treatment experience. Our website offers information on heart valve disease and treatment, as well as FAQs and a glossary of terminology. Additionally, our NewHeartValve.com microsite provides comprehensive information on aortic stenosis and options for treatment. Our Foundation also invests in educational resources for patients with the American Heart Association at www.heart.org/valves and with the Alliance for Aging Research Foundation at www.livingwithvalvedisease.org.
Edwards Lifesciences is inspired by listening to the patient voice and continues to improve our patient engagement initiatives. Patients value the opportunity to share their stories with people who can understand their journey. Evidence indicates that empowered, engaged patients experience better clinical outcomes. At Patient Days, we empower patients to share their experiences to help themselves and others. Our goal is to conduct an Edwards Patient Day event once per year in Irvine and inspire additional Patient Day events in other Edwards’ regions around the world. In Irvine, we welcomed 100 patients and caregivers to our 2016 Patient Day program.
This year’s program participants provided insight into their treatment satisfaction, recovery and resources that would be helpful in their journey. In a post-event survey, 96 percent of attendees rated the experience as “Excellent” and 100 percent said they would recommend the program to others. Participants appreciated the value of the opportunity to connect with other patients, learn about ways to get involved in helping others, and about their lifesaving technologies. Participants described the day as “outstanding,” “passionate” and “engaging.” Edwards is very proud of these results and intends to extend the program’s benefits to more patients in the future.
In February 2017, Edwards Chairman and CEO Mike Mussallem accepted the American Heart Association's (AHA’s) National Champion Award at its Corporate Champions Summit & Awards Celebration in New York City. The award recognizes our Foundation’s partnership with the AHA and the significant impact we have on U.S. patients.