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Published on May 24, 2012

Crozer Physicians Begin Physician-Patient Experience Initiative to Enhance Patient Satisfaction

Crozer-Chester Medical Center’s attending physicians and residents are participating in a Physician-Patient Experience Initiative to enhance patient-physician communication and patient satisfaction.

This program is led by C. Nathan Okechukwu, M.D., acting chairman of the Department of Medicine, and features the support and participation of a multidisciplinary range of physicians and administrators.

Like all Crozer-Keystone hospitals, Crozer uses the National Research Center (NRC) Picker’s evaluation tool to evaluate patient satisfaction. When compared to hospitals with similar environments and serving similar demographics, Crozer has received relatively low marks in the area of physician-patient experience in recent years.

The goal of the Physician-Patient Experience Initiative is to improve patients’ experiences working with physicians at Crozer. Improving these experiences will not only benefit the patient, but the doctor as well, according to Okechukwu.

“A great physician-patient experience promotes client loyalty, but it also fosters better patient compliance with medical care, and improves patients’ adherence to prescribed therapeutic regimens.  The enhanced experience also benefits the physician by reducing medical errors, promoting staff satisfaction, and has been demonstrated to reduce malpractice risk,” he says.

There is also another major reason behind the initiative. Medicare is going to start removing one percent of each hospital’s budget and allocate it to the hospitals that have the best patient ratings. Low patient satisfaction scores will mean lower revenues for hospitals all across the country.

The physicians at Crozer have already started working on their interactions with patients, as a part of the initiative. “When physicians are observed and mentored, it will help maximize ideal physician-patient interactions,” says Kevin Caputo M.D., chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Crozer and a core team member for the initiative.

The initiative also includes four educational modules for physicians. Each doctor is expected to complete the modules, which explain the importance of the initiative and give them the skills and techniques to have successful meetings with patients. Already, nearly two-thirds of physicians and residents have completed the first two modules and training is underway for the third and fourth modules.

Physicians have also been given a training aid that provides tips for physicians during their entire interaction with a patient. The aid includes tips about how physicians should enter a room and introduce themselves; some general communication skills they should have; how to listen to patients; and key words and phrases they can use.

Okechukwu puts the initiative into perspective by saying, “Patient satisfaction and patient experience of care is at the heart of the success of any hospital or healthcare system.”

For more information about the initiative, contact one of the core team members:

Contact                                                                     Phone Number

Nathan Okechukwu, M.D.                                 (610) 872-8501

Acting Chairman, Dept. of Medicine

Kevin Caputo, M.D.                                         (610) 874-5257

Chairman, Dept. of Psychiatry

Chris Stenberg M.D.                                        (610) 447-6503

Chairman, Dept. of Pediatrics

John Davidyock, M.D.                                      (610) 619-8590

Chief, Division of Hospital Medicine

Guy Hewlett M.D.                                            (610) 447-7610

Director of Medical Education

Terry Lynch                                                   (610) 447-2114

Director of Patient Relations

Vince Mazella, SPHR                                         (610) 477-6310

Corporate Director of Training & Organizational Development

Linda Harris-Ashton                                          (610) 447-6370

Administrative Director, Department of Medicine

Michaele Bartenbach                                        (610) 447-6370

Sectary Specialist

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