Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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A BI-WEEKLY PUBLICATION FROM THE CEDARS-SINAI CHIEF OF STAFF May 27, 2011 Issue | Archived Issues

Multivitamin and Multi-Trace Metals Injection Shortage Resolved

Pharmacy Focus

Please note that the Pharmacy Department has been able to secure a sufficient amount of both Infuvite Adult Injectable MVIs (this formulation contains small amounts of Vitamin K-150mcg/10ml) and Adult Multi-Trace Metals (MTE-4). Therefore, these shortages are considered to be resolved at this time.  

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How Do White Blood Cells Detect Invaders to Destroy?

Research Corner

Scientists are one step closer to understanding how our bodies fight disease thanks to a discovery made at Cedars-Sinai. Researchers here found how a receptor on the surface of white blood cells can tell when invading fungi pose an immediate infectious threat. The discovery provides insight into how the body's immune system saves energy by not wasting its "ammo" on invaders that aren't as serious.

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IRB Announces Analyst Designations by Division

The Office of Research Compliance and Quality Improvement has changed its process for distributing the workload among the IRB analysts.

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Meetings and Events


Grand Rounds

Click here to view upcoming Grand Rounds.

Share Your News

Won any awards or had an article accepted for publication? Share your news about professional achievements and other items of interest.

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Patient Satisfaction Is a Crucial Part of Quality Care

May 2011

Thomas M. Priselac
President and CEO

Providing quality patient care is our top priority at Cedars-Sinai, and we measure how we are doing in a variety of ways: adherence to core measures such as "door-to-balloon" time for heart attack patients, incidence of hospital-acquired infections, and unplanned readmissions, to name just a few. An equally important measure of the quality of our patient care is determined by how our patients feel about the service they received from us before, during and after their hospital stay. Were all of their questions answered? Did we introduce ourselves upon entering their room? Did the patient feel that their room was clean and well-kept? Did they feel that they fully understood their discharge instructions?

While Cedars-Sinai is usually at or near the top of the list of the nation's hospitals in measures of clinical quality outcomes, we have not yet reached the same level of excellence in measures of patient satisfaction. Our efforts to boost patient satisfaction scores grow out of Cedars-Sinai's longstanding commitment to doing what's best for our patients. This has always been at the core of our mission, and always will be.

Currently, about 84 percent of our patients say they would always recommend Cedars-Sinai to friends and family, and about 76 percent give the care they received here the highest ratings. This is good — but at Cedars-Sinai we can, and should, do better than this. While these numbers have improved in each of the last four years, we haven't yet distinguished ourselves in patient satisfaction the way we do in other measures of clinical quality.

In this era of healthcare reform and greater accountability for quality care, hospitals across the nation are exploring new strategies for measuring and increasing patient satisfaction. New payment models based on value place greater emphasis on meeting quality and patient satisfaction goals, and federal Medicare reimbursements to hospitals will increasingly be tied to performance. But these financial considerations are not the primary drivers of our focus on patient satisfaction. We want to improve service to patients, first and foremost, because it is the right thing to do.

One of Cedars-Sinai's greatest strengths is the dedication of all of our staff to providing a safe, supportive healing environment that reflects best practices — at every touchpoint. Whether patients or family members are interacting with the financial services staff, nurses, physicians, nutrition staff, environmental services, pharmacists, or anyone else who is part of their hospital experience, they should always feel that we are focused on providing the highest quality service as well as the highest quality of clinical outcomes. Everyone who works here, regardless of whether you have direct contact with patients, shares responsibility for achieving the highest level of patient satisfaction.

This responsibility starts with strong support from the hospital's leadership. We're committed to ensuring that staff levels and other resources are in place to enable you to do your best work, to take pride in working for an organization that invests in quality — and to be fully engaged in our efforts to improve patient satisfaction. We value your ideas and welcome your suggestions on how to accomplish our goals, and we will recognize outstanding efforts that lead to greater patient satisfaction.

We are determined to improve service at every step of the healthcare process. Even before patients are admitted, they begin to form impressions about the Medical Center based on how they're treated during the pre-registration process — whether staff members take time to answer their questions, show sensitivity to their concerns and make the process as quick and easy as possible, for example.

During their hospital stay, patients need to know that we're concerned about their emotional well-being as well as their medical condition. They count on receiving the best care, but it may be a simple gesture that makes the biggest impression — taking the time to reassure a worried family member, holding an anxious patient's hand, anticipating a need before they ask. How often we check on patients, how quickly we respond when they need help, whether we treat them with respect and compassion at all times — this is all part of providing the quality experience that results in high levels of patient satisfaction.

We also need to let patients know that our concern doesn't stop when they leave the hospital. Our nurses now make an average of 3,500 calls a month — to patients who received outpatient care as well as those admitted to the hospital — to check on how they're doing and find out if they have any questions about their medications and discharge instructions. Good responsive communication performed consistently is at the core of our efforts to increase patient satisfaction. While the hospital environment is a familiar workplace to us, this can be a foreign and scary place to our patients. At a time when they're extremely vulnerable, they find themselves among strangers in a world of medical technology and terminology that can be overwhelming. It's up to all of us to help patients feel at ease by providing a personal touch whenever possible. The best communication makes them feel they are being seen as individuals and gives them confidence that they'll be kept well-informed throughout their hospital stay.

Finally, how well we listen and learn from patients makes a great difference in their level of satisfaction, as well as the quality of care we're able to provide. We're making improvements in our system of identifying and correcting problems based on patients' feedback, because their perspective is very important to our ongoing efforts to improve quality and safety.

Perhaps the best way to make the patient experience at Cedars-Sinai of the highest quality is to ask ourselves how we would want to be treated during a hospital stay. The way each of us answers this question will give insights about what we can do to increase patient satisfaction at Cedars-Sinai. Just as we stand out as a national model on many measures of clinical quality, we can also be a leader in patient satisfaction — if everyone gives their best to ensure that patients receive the highest levels of service at every touchpoint.