CEO Corner: Together, We Can Improve Patient Satisfaction By Bruce McClymonds, President and CEO, WVUH While there was a time when many state residents looked beyond West Virginia for advanced medical treatments, times have changed. Over the past decade, WVUH – together with University Health Associates and the WVU Health Sciences Center – has worked with focus and determination to increase the quality of our medical care, the scope and depth of our healthcare professionals, the richness of our technological resources, and the overall caliber of our clinical programs and facilities.
We have been systematically working to eliminate the reasons people used to leave West Virginia for care. These come down to two reasons – the specific kind of care that’s needed and the quality of care available. In both areas, we have made remarkable strides that no one could have anticipated a decade or two ago.
Excellence is the only standard we can accept. We want our patient outcomes to compare favorably with those at the very best healthcare facilities in the country, and we have numerous quality initiatives under way to help us achieve that. Our quest for excellence isn’t limited to the treatments we provide. Several initiatives are under way at WVUH to help physicians, nurses and staff deliver the best possible service to customers. These initiatives include CARE (Communicating About Real Experiences) and Bright Ideas, both implemented last year. And, of course, I can’t forget STAR (Serving Together, Achieving Results), a campus-wide customer service initiative that has been in existence since 2002. In addition, we are constantly seeking input from patients about how we’re doing in this effort. Our survey partner, Press Ganey Associates, sends questionnaires to a randomly selected sample of WVUH patients following their Hospital visit. For the first quarter of 2008, our patients scored their overall care 82.9 compared to 81.6 in the fourth quarter of 2007. That’s progress – and our highest quarterly score since we began working with Press Ganey last year. I would like to recognize the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) for having the highest – and most improved – inpatient unit score for the first quarter. This unit went from a score of 74.3 to 91.1. That’s phenomenal.
The pediatric clinic at WVU Cheat Lake Physicians had the highest – and most improved – outpatient score. It went from 91.1 to 94.6.
More details on the first quarter patient satisfaction results can be found in the “Patients Rate Care” article.
I’d also like to share with you some results of the Medicare Survey of Patient Experiences. Every hospital in the country that treats Medicare patients is required to survey a sample of patients to measure clinical outcomes and patient experiences.
Sixty-eight percent of surveyed WVUH patients indicated that they’d give our Hospital a “9” or “10” on a 1 to 10 scale, with “10” being excellent. Seventy-two percent indicated that they would definitely recommend WVUH to someone else.
WVUH’s scores on these two questions compare favorably with other West Virginia hospitals, as well as other Magnet and university hospitals.
While we’re making great strides in improving patient satisfaction, there’s more work to be done. I’d encourage you to consider how you can impact our customers’ experience. It doesn’t matter what department you work in, everything you do in your role at WVUH has a direct or indirect impact on patient satisfaction.
Let’s continue to work together and live our values: “Our patients and their families are the first priority in everything we do.” And let’s continue on our journey to become a world-class healthcare facility.
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