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How to close hospitalist-patient communications gap


FierceHealthcare and the New England Journal of Medicine’s Catalyst report on how Rush University Medical Center improved  what had been relatively bad hospitalist-patient communication in its patient-centered initiative.

A NEJM Catalyst blog post  explains how the medical center has now achieved a domain score for physician communication above the 50th national percentile; the improvement rate for Rush hospitalists has improved faster than for its non-hospitalists’.

The post offers the following suggestions, as summarized by Fierce, for hospitals that “want to open channels of communication between hospitalists and patients–efforts that may lead to higher patient satisfaction scores, reduced readmissions and greater compliance with after-care instructions:”

  • “Provide hospitalists with your current patient survey results. Make sure the reports are timely and transparent.
  • “Make communication a priority and include it as a group performance measure. Provide hospitalists with ongoing education and feedback.
  • “Encourage hospitalists to use facecards, whiteboards and rounding protocols to enhance communication.
  • “Use the HCAHPS database to create a more vigorous measurement tool for hospitalist programs.
  • “Use Lean strategies to identify drivers for variations in scores over time.”

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