Patient-centeredness is increasingly recognized as a key measure of high-quality care at health systems around the country, and it is a principal goal at UF Health. Aligning health care around patients is shown to increase both their satisfaction and clinical outcomes, while enhancing efficiency and establishing patients as active participants in their care.
Still, measuring this concept is a challenge for health systems. That’s why the Patient-Centeredness at Faculty Practices team is gathering patient feedback to assess and enhance care. “For us, patient-centered care means that we exceeded the expectations of the person we’re here to take care of,” said Marvin Dewar, M.D., J.D., UF Health Physicians chief executive officer and UF College of Medicine senior associate dean. “People need to feel respected and good about their provider and their interactions with our system. At the end of the day, it boils down to whether the patient is satisfied and glad that they chose to receive their care from us.”
Electronic surveys are being emailed to all patients who visit any of the 58 UF Health Physicians outpatient practices. Specific questions gauge aspects of the patient experience such as access, timeliness, hospitality and service and communication. Because patient-centeredness relies on patients’ perceptions, the answers provide crucial insight about our service.
“The questionnaire provides us with real-time data and shows trends to see if we’re getting better or worse,” said Laura Gruber, M.B.A., M.H.S., UF Health Physicians senior director of administration, strategy and education. “We can compare ourselves internally and to national standards, then change our behaviors based on the results.”
The group is analyzing incoming data and using it to take action, Gruber said. Early results indicate that communication across our organization needs to improve. As more results are compiled, the team will develop and initiate plans to address opportunities.
“The surveys are showing that we do some great things, but we’re not there yet in all domains,” Dewar said. “We will use these surveys to identify what is most important to our patients and then focus on excelling at that. It’s a journey — we’re rethinking what represents quality care.”