National Research Corporation, a provider of healthcare performance measurement research, today announced that healthcare leaders from eight countries and the United States will be in attendance at its 8th Annual Picker Institute International Symposium in Boston on July 17-19, 2002.

In 2001, National Research Corporation acquired the Picker Institute. In addition to continuing Picker's distinct and high quality patient experience survey, the Company will continue the tradition of an annual international educational event.

The Symposium, which will be held in Boston at the Westin Copley Place hotel, will feature a variety of speakers from across the nation as well as internationally. Current information and research dissemination on topics of patient-centered care and strategies for improving a patient's experience with healthcare will be presented. The Symposium will also provide a forum for discussion of healthcare public policy. Representatives from the nation's leading healthcare institutions will share best practice strategies.

"Over the past decade, healthcare organizations have very responsibly measured the experience of the patients they serve and, consequently, the quality of healthcare has improved. But, the healthcare experience continues to evolve to higher levels of improvement. As evidenced by the Symposium, National Research Corporation is committed to helping healthcare professionals shift the paradigm to the next level - not just measuring patient satisfaction, but improving the patient experience," stated Michael D. Hays, president and chief executive officer of National Research Corporation.

Keynote speakers at the Symposium include Jackie Pflug, who will tell her terrifying story of survival from one of airline history's deadly terrorist attacks. She was one of three Americans who was shot and left for dead - only Jackie lived. She will share her story of survival and of her experiences in the world of healthcare. Ted Kennedy Jr. will also share his story of surviving cancer and his past and continuing efforts to improve the patient experience in healthcare. And, Norm Bossio, management consultant, trainer and public speaker, will share ideas on how to "Stay Afloat on the Titanic Called Healthcare."

Four Chief Executive Officers from some of the nation's top healthcare organizations will discuss their strategies on improvement of the patient experience. Leaders from organizations that practice and promote public reporting will present a four-hour workshop on the "Seven Habits of Highly Successful Public Reporting" projects. Angela Coulter, the Director of Picker Europe, will join other members of the NRC Scientific Board as they present new research on patient safety and discuss steps in developing a world-wide standard for patient safety. A session on patient-centered environments of the future will describe healing environments in hospitals, virtual hospitals, and digitalized hospitals.

"This will be the first of many educational efforts presented by National Research Corporation to actually help improve the patient's experience with healthcare - and move healthcare to the next level of improvement," says Hays.

Click here to learn more about the conference.