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Reaching Excellence Together

Develop Care Improvement Strategies

Health system leaders in the region should develop a diverse approach to altering care practices and policies in support of performance improvement in priority areas. Efforts should also seek to identify patient subgroups contributing most significantly to performance gaps. Potential areas to address include:

Make the Human Connection:
Develop financial and other incentives for providers to spend time with patients and enhance the patient-provider relationship, address limited staff, patient overload, stressed resources or high physician turnover.

Lose the Hassle:
Evaluate potential staff shortages or ineffectively allocated resources, inefficient or outdated scheduling and patient registry systems, cross-cultural communication barriers and customer service training gaps.

Help Me Understand:
Assess gaps in training programs to enhance provider communication skills, including opportunities to transfer skills across staff and via collaboration with community resources.

National Best Practice

Two Words to Improve Patient-Provider Communication

What if a physician could avoid that situation where just as a patient proceeds to share a rather important health concern, they start to wrap things up for their next scheduled appointment?

Well several physicians at the Mayo Clinic have found the use of two very simple words can avoid this scenario and greatly improve patient-physician communication from the start of the encounter. The two words are "what else?" In addition to giving patients the opportunity to address additional concerns or symptoms, these words can transform the interview from one that is physician-focused to a patient-centered encounter facilitating information gathering, the patient-physician relationship and patient education. Physicians who use this style of interviewing have had enhanced rapport with patients and are less likely to be sued.

WNY Health Care Priorities

Five key health care priorities and their regional performance (...read more)