File this in the cleaning up my queue category, but there’s a pretty good article in last weeks NEJM about how a doctor judges himself. I’d submit that apart from baseball players, and call center customer service rep, most of us don’t get the regular metricized feedback that would help us improve.
This doc, Richard Baron, surveyed a small sample of his practice and discovered (and I’m sure that he’s not alone) that although he and his staff were doing OK in servicing patients, and keeping them clinically in good shape, he was not doing so well communicating to them about how to manage their disease. So he needs to import a good dose of information therapy.
But this is a start. The only company I’ve ever worked where there was serious consultation via survey with staff and customers was a survey firm. And to be fair, whatever the results of the survey, they didn’t seem to really change the organization’s behavior too much. Perhaps I should be surveying my clients and my readers….but I think many more doctors should be surveying their patients.
This is why I’m such a huge fan of clinical IT. It opens the door for physicians to eventually track their patients’ health outcomes, and figure out who they are and aren’t getting through to. Only when they know that can they begin to figure out why.
We did a survey recently at my hospital and we are doing another one. Patient responses are studied and changes are being made. We’re also instituting hospital wide cutomer service workshops. It’s a great way for everyone to be alert to their behaviors and do better.