Nearly one-fourth of patients reported increased patient satisfaction when they knew their physician, according to a Vanderbilt study in the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma.
Realizing that nearly 90 percent of medical patients are unable to correctly name their treating physician following inpatient admission, researchers studied the effects of giving a randomized group of patients a simple biosketch card about their doctor. Patient satisfaction scores for the group receiving the card were 22 percent higher than those who did not receive the card.
A percentage of Medicare reimbursement dollars — beginning with 1 percent in FY 2013 and growing to 2 percent by 2017 — is linked to patient satisfaction scores from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) questions answered by patients. Patient satisfaction determines 30 percent of performance scores for incentive payments, while clinical measures make up the other 70 percent.
The Vanderbilt pilot study enrolled 212 randomized patients. One hundred received biosketch cards discreetly placed by a third party; 112 did not get cards. The patients were essentially the same in all variables, including injury type, insurance status and education.
To accurately gauge patient satisfaction, patients in the Vanderbilt study were contacted within two weeks of discharge to answer those same HCAHPS questions relating to their care.
In the end, the group who received a biosketch card had patient satisfaction scores 22 percent higher than the group who did not receive a biosketch card.
Each of the six physicians in Vanderbilt’s Division of Orthopaedic Trauma participated in the study and, since that time, the nurse practitioners are now giving out cards to all patients.
Source: Vanderbilt University, October 31, 2013
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