Navigating these arrangements requires care, she said. “These people are not trained in ENT—we are trained in ENT, and they may turn out to be our competition,” she said. “When we train these mid-level providers, it’s really essential that we keep in mind that they’re part of the physician team—and we need to be at the helm of that team,” she added. “If we pick the right mid-level provider and set the right circumstances, we should all be happy.”
Explore this issue:February 2014
Rahul Shah, MD, a pediatric otolaryngologist at Children’s National in Washington, said that doctors have no choice but to take patient satisfaction seriously.
The “patient experience domain score” makes up 30% of CMS’s Total Performance Score for hospitals, and a staggering amount of data is available on the Web for patient consumption, Dr. Shah said. “It’s absolutely amazing [that] in the last couple of years the patient as a consumer has been elevated to such a role that impacts our practices,” he said. With patients on boards or board committees, coming to board retreats, and participating on advisory boards, they are “a force to be reckoned with,” he added.
—Rafael Portela, MD Miami, Fla.
But, at his center and others, providers with low patient satisfaction scores have seen those scores rise to the middle or top of the range. Simple advice like sitting down, unplugging your devices, facing the patient, making hand contact, emphasizing quality over quantity, and, at the end of a visit, asking whether a patient has questions, can go a long way, he said.
“It’s the new hot metric,” Dr. Shah said. “It’s here to stay, but I’m pretty confident [that] with some easy tactics we can improve our scores.”
—Sapideh Gilani, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Maintenance of Certification
Sonya Malekzadeh, MD, FACS, coordinator for education for the AAO-HNS and chief of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Washington, DC, reviewed what the Academy offers to support members in their maintenance of certification (MOC) efforts.