The Relationship of Hospital CEO Characteristics to Patient Experience Scores

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Efforts by hospitals to improve patient experience continue as changes in policy such as the Affordable Care Act of 2010 have made patient experience a cornerstone of promoting greater value in the United States. Hospital CEOs play an important role in promoting positive patient experiences as they set the organizational vision and strategic goals and can execute change to support positive experiences.


This study assessed whether three CEO characteristics—education, tenure with the organization, and gender—were associated with patient experience scores of California hospitals in 2013 and 2014. Using a pooled, cross-sectional design with ordinary least squares regression to account for other hospital and market characteristics, the analysis indicated that hospitals with female CEOs and longer-tenured CEOs were associated with more positive patient experience scores. Higher levels of education were not significantly associated with patient experience scores. Overall, the model covariates accounted for approximately 14.0% of the variance in patient experience scores between hospitals, with CEO characteristics accounting for approximately 2.4% of this variation. Such findings highlight the important yet emerging role of CEO characteristics when accounting for patient experience.

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