Custom Learning Systems

Save the Date

The 2018 Service Excellence Conference will take place January 29 - 31, 2018 in San Antonio, TX at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk


For more information about the HealthCare Service Excellence Conference or Custom Learning Systems, or for media inquiries, please contact Dorian Nottebrock by email or call 1-800-667-7325 ext. 203.


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National Symposium on HCAHPS Sustainability

An innovative, practical education, designed to achieve breakthrough and sustainable improvements to HCAHPS Patient Experience Survey Scores arrow

Summit & Breakthrough Awards

Visit to view the recipients of this year's awards. Come back in July to access Summit nomination forms, Breakthrough forms, information on the TBV (Team Bragging Video) Awards.arrow

Conference Archives

  • Photo Gallery: check out our Facebook page to view the photos from the Long Beach Conferencearrow

  • 2016 Summit Award & Pinnacle Award Recipientsarrow

  • 2016 Breakthrough Awards Achieversarrow

  • 2017 TBV Award Recipientsarrow

  • Watch the TBV Videos from 2017arrow

5 Star Experience

Hardwire Extraordinary Patient Engagement

“Being 5-stars is more about a mindset than it is about adhering to certain standards. It’s about a mentality, a way of working, discipline and most of all, a healthy disdain for anything mediocre.” – Dr. Bryan K. Willaims

This year the HealthCare Service Excellence Conference has assembled a world-class faculty of experts in the field of patient experience, staff morale and retention, and physician engagement. Their mission is to share leading edge, proven skills and best practices to equip you and your team to overcome the biggest barriers you face to consistently deliver an empathetic, kind and compassionate experience.

Don’t miss out! Lock in January 29-31, 2018 on your calendar today.

  • 6 Dynamic, World-Class Keynote Speakers
  • 18 Practical, Relevant, How-to Workshops
  • Two Continental Breakfasts
  • Two Lunches including the Breakthrough Awards Luncheon
  • Opening “Dinner and Movie Night”
  • The 18th Annual “Night of Excellence” featuring the Summit Awards Banquet and Ball
  • B O N U S : Full Access to the National Symposium on HCAHPS Sustainability with 2 Keynotes and 5 Academies

The Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk places you in the heart of San Antonio, steps from Guinness World Records Museum and Alamo. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of the Alamo Mission in San Antonio. Enjoy recreational amenities including a 24-hour health club and an outdoor pool. This hotel also features complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and gift shops/newsstands.

The 17th Annual HealthCare Service Excellence Conference is officially done! From the reviews that we’ve gotten in, this conference was our best ever…and that’s reflected in our overall score of 4.92 out of 5.


The first day of the conference showcased a multitude of preconference events including the National Symposium on HCAHPS Sustainability.  The Symposium consisted of 5 Academies focusing on hot topics such as: HCAHPS Nursing, HCAHPS for Everyone, HCAHPS Physician and Hospitalists, Clinics and Group CAHPS, and Emergency Department.
In addition to the academies, there was on Onboarding & Retention Academy and a Program Director Session.

Conference Highlights:

Throughout the conference, there were keynote speakers who embodied excellence in service and left the conference attendees inspired, engaged, and empowered to be able to take what they’d learned and pass it on to others in their lives.

Keynote: John O’Leary: Inspirational Leadership
After surviving a tragic house fire where burns consumed 100% of his body, John has embraced the truth that regardless of our personal and professional challenges, we choose how to:

  • Navigate adversity through decision-making
  • Reveal a brighter vision for what’s possible
  • Live boldly to impact others



Keynote: Dave Carroll: “United Breaks Guitar”
As a musician with a message, Dave demonstrates the power that one voice can have in today’s socially driven world. His music video “United Breaks Guitar” went viral and has reached over 150 million people worldwide.
He is a highly sought after professional speaker & published author whose message demonstrates that we are fundamentally connected, that simple changes in perspective can inject caring into your business & that organizations founded upon ‘compassionate design’ makes for a happier, productive & successful environment.


Keynote: Frank King: The Cardiac Comedian
Speaking about how doctors, nurses, patients, and caregivers can partner for higher quality care, greater patient satisfaction, and thereby, a better bottom line. Frank’s ability to combine inspiration, innovative thinking, and humor really connected with the audience.




Keynote: Marcus Engel: The “I’m Here Movement”
 After being blinded and severely injured by a drunk driver, Marcus overcame unimaginable obstacles to reclaim his life. His dramatic story inspires health care professionals to reignite their passion for providing excellent patient care.
Speaking about Presence being the cornerstone of caregiving, Marcus gave our audience skills on how to stay compassionate and resilient while immersed in daily human suffering.


Keynote: Ashley Rhodes-Courter: The Quintessential American Success Story
By inspiring compassion, motivation, self-confidence, and inner strength, Ashley taught conference attendees how to explore our own mistakes and use them to provide opportunity for personal growth.
After spending almost a decade in the foster care system, Ashley Rhodes-Courter is now in her 30s and is the author of the International Bestseller, “Three Little Words,” and “Three More Words.” Ashley has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is also a foster and adoptive parent. She is dedicated to her non-profit, the Foundation for Sustainable Families.


During the conference, Brian Lee, the Founder and CEO announced that we will be launching a new product later this year which will contain CG-CAHPS, and ED-CAHPS modules to the “Everyone’s a Caregiver” App.  The Everyone’s a Caregiver App is a time-sensitive web-based learning tool to educate and empower everyone in a hospital to master the skills, competencies, and best practices of HCAHPS Domains and improve patient satisfaction scores.

On the first day of the conference during the Opening Ceremonies, we showcased our Team Bragging Videos with a special Superhero theme. We consider all healthcare workers to be superheroes and we had our clients submit videos based on their organizations interpretation of that concept. It was a fun night had by all…including fun superhero costumes that all delegates were encouraged to wear.

The second day of the conference featured the Breakthrough Awards Luncheon. The Breakthrough Awards celebrate the achievements of patient experience and patient satisfaction excellence using verified survey vendor numbers to compare breakthroughs and improvements in scores for all domains.

On the final evening of the conference, The Night of Excellence celebrated personal and group achievement through the Summit Awards. The Summit Award is the highest award of excellence presented at the HealthCare Service Excellence Conference. It is awarded to qualified, innovative, and progressive individuals, teams, and healthcare facilities who have made outstanding progress towards improving the patient experience and staff engagement.  Individuals, teams, or organizations must be nominated to be eligible for a Summit Award.

This year, the Summit Awards committee received over 240 nominations from 21 different healthcare organizations spanning 15 states. Fifty-Five of the nominations were chosen as Pinnacle Achievers (the best of the best), and 19 of those 55 were presented the Summit Award.


Here’s what conference attendees had to say about the three-day event:

“You have the most amazing speakers! I came in thinking I'm pretty good at customer service but these people have a way of making you reach inside yourself and strive to do even better. I feel so blessed to have been able to attend this conference.”
   – Lisa Adams, Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital

“Thank you for being so supportive to everyone.  I felt just as important as the CEO's.”
   – Janice Stagg, Grand River Hospital

“I loved how it inspired me to go back to my roots and rekindle the fire that I had when I started in healthcare. This was the best conference I have ever attended.”
   – Elaine Wulff, CNO, Harney District Hospital

“The networking, the speakers, the encouragement.”
   – Jodie Thompson, Providence Medical Center

Overall Conference Rating of 4.92 out of 5.0

“All of the keynote speakers were exceptional. Kudos to the organizer of these folks. The reception folks were extremely helpful and welcoming.”
   – Karen Ellis, St. Charles – Prineville

“Everything, it was all great and inspiring, and insightful. Really enjoyed it all.”
   – Sherree Unrau, Meridian Medical Clinic

“Inspirational speakers throughout. Enthusiasm wonderful! Very great mix of speakers.”
   – Ann Howard, Pulaski Memorial Hospital

“The energy of the staff and how everyone was made to feel important and valued for their efforts and input. I really liked the "real life" suggestions and advice offered during the breakout sessions and their applicability to the healthcare environment. It is obvious your team "walks the talk".”
   – Denise Foss-Baker, LifeCare Medical Center

“Empowered me to take pride in the leader that I am, and to take my new passion and ignite new ones."
   – Daniele Wright, Tri Valley Health, Cambridge, NE