Unique role improves patients’ lives

Emma Thompson

Unique role improves patients’ lives


By Josh Jennings – The Sydney Morning Herald


Many of us know what it’s like to walk into a medical centre, dentist or health clinic and see the old waiting room couch, the gnarly stack of magazines and the wall-mounted TV blasting a daytime soap series that nobody has watched since 1998.

Emma Thompson, the chief experience officer at movement and musculoskeletal care centre Upwell Health Collective, is employed to ensure Upwell customers have a much more inviting experience.

She says a lot of the clients who attend the centre are disillusioned about previous experiences they’ve had for chronic conditions and musculoskeletal pain.

Thompson, who works at a desk at the front of the centre, introduces herself to all new clients, ensures they know what her role is and encourages them to contact her if they have any questions.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about getting to know the patient at an individual level,” says Thompson. “Without getting to know them, you don’t ever really understand what their battle is.”

Thompson is Upwell’s first chief experience officer. Her main responsibilities include liaising closely with practitioners about enhancing the patient’s experience, getting to know clients and implementing feedback, advocacy, managing reception and playing a key role in developing the company’s business systems and processes.

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She says the opportunity to establish herself in a first-of-its-kind role at Upwell is one she is embracing.

“It’s the opportunity to be able to come to work and design a role around what you want to achieve,” says Thompson. “It excites me that it will be a role that really paves the way for patient experiences in the future.”

Thompson has a Bachelor of Health Science (musculoskeletal therapy) and a Certificate IV in Personal Training. She previously spent a decade working as a remedial massage therapist in naturopathy, allied health and day spa settings.

Her current workplace is a warm and modern health centre that recently earned recognition at the 2018 Melbourne Design Awards, by way of a gold medal for interior design in the corporate and commercial category.

Thompson says one of the career experiences she’s enjoyed this year is listening to a range of speakers present at Upwell – including a dietician, sports doctor, pain specialist and even former AFL coach Mick Malthouse.

By the end of 2018, she’s hopeful that the customer experiences she’s developing will continue to enrich the health and wellbeing of Upwell’s clients.

“I’d love to set an industry standard where other health professionals look to Upwell and say, ‘That’s where we want to be with our customer service’.”

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