All that Henry Ford Health System does is centered around the customer, who is always the focus of the System’s True North vision – We will be the trusted partner in health, leading the nation in superior care and value.
Communication is a key part of providing exceptional patient care at Henry Ford. Whether it’s pharmacists listening to patient needs and seeking input from colleagues, or physicians taking part in training to learn how to better communicate with patients, employees at Henry Ford are making communication a priority, and it shows. In 2017, the System enhanced communication and has seen increases in numerous measures of patient satisfaction.
Working behind the scenes
Creativity ensures patient medication needs are met
When a patient walks into a Henry Ford pharmacy location, they expect their medication to be available and at the price they expected to pay.
Sounds simple enough. But behind that transaction – and there were 1.82 million prescriptions filled at Henry Ford ambulatory pharmacies in 2017 – is an entire supply chain process that must work correctly every time.
Mike Zajac, a lead database analyst with Community Care Services (CCS), uses his knowledge and creativity to ensure an exceptional experience for patients and co-workers. He and his team make sure patients have what they need.
“Mike is constantly sought out to assist with the patient care experience for multiple team members across our 28 ambulatory pharmacy locations,” notes Alexander Mansour, director of Financial Services, Contracts, Compliance and Audits for the ambulatory pharmacies. “If a medication cannot be found through conventional channels, a technological miscue requires creative problem solving, or new therapies are added into the network, Mike approaches each situation with a smile. He is always willing to lend a listening ear to help patients and those around him.”
Mike says for him it’s simply doing for others what he would want done toward him or a family member. One situation comes to mind for him.
There was a patient at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital who could not be discharged without a certain prescription filled. However, the medication cost $2,000 and was not covered by insurance. Mike worked with the discharge team and the patient’s insurance company to resolve the issue. The result: The patient had the medication they needed.
“That’s what it’s all about for me,” Mike says. “I will do whatever I can to make sure patients’ therapeutic needs are met.”
Strengthening Physician Communication Skills
In 2017, Henry Ford worked closely with its talented and dedicated physicians to help them improve how they communicate with patients. Through the Center for Physician Communication and Peer Support, physicians received training that included coaching, mentoring and a physician shadowing process to provide real-time assessment and feedback on their patient communication skills. A positive response from patients led Henry Ford to expand the program across the System, where it will continue on a larger scale.
National Inpatient and Outpatient Surveys
The HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) is a patient satisfaction survey required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for all inpatients at hospitals in the United States. It is the first national standard for collecting and reporting information about patient care experiences.
2017 Exceptional Experience Highlights
Henry Ford’s Center for Physician Communication & Peer Support
Physicians took part in training through Henry Ford’s Center for Physician Communication & Peer Support and achieved substantial improvements in patient feedback scores for their communication skills. After physicians were shadowed and coached, they scored higher in all measures of communication in patient surveys, including likelihood to recommend, physician communication quality, ease of understanding instruction, respect for what the patient said, and spending enough time with the patient. The communication skills training program began in earnest in 2017 will continue to expand across the System.
Personalized Patient Communication
Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital continued to excel and Henry Ford Hospital achieved the highest percentile rank in nine years from the HCAHPS (the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems), a patient satisfaction survey required by CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) for all hospitals in the United States. Much of Henry Ford’s success can be attributed to the significant increase in personalized patient communication from nurses and physicians. Nurses now “round” on patients every hour to identify and resolve immediate issues. Some nurse leaders used a specially designed iPad and recording tool to round on their floors, resulting in significant increases in patient satisfaction.
Patient Perception of Care
The Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CGCAHPS) survey is like a “sister” survey to the HCAHPS. It measures patient perception of care provided by physicians in an office setting. Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital have shown consistently strong scores by focusing on improvements in access to care, provider communication, quick reporting of test results and kind, attentive office staff.
Pre-diabetes Patient Registry
Henry Ford Macomb Hospital teamed up with the American Medical Association to pilot a pre-diabetes patient registry that could become a national model for enrolling more patients in evidence-based type 2 diabetes prevention programs.
Specialized Care for LGBTQ Patients
In partnership with the Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park, Henry Ford provided health care services in the on-site health and wellness center. Staff played a vital role in offering a safe, comfortable health care destination for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning patients, including youth. Providers offered general primary care, HIV/AIDS prevention, sexual health services and transition medications and hormone therapy for transgender individuals.
- Again in 2017, HAP received the JD Power Award for ranking highest in member satisfaction among health plans in the Michigan region.
- Henry Ford received two Press Ganey awards:
- The Behavioral Health Unit at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital won the Guardian of Excellence Award, which honors clients who have reached the 95th percentile for patient experience.
- Rana Awdish, M.D., medical director, Center for Physician Communication and Peer Support, received the Physician of the Year Award.
- Dr. Awdish also won the prestigious National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award from The Schwartz Center.
- The Henry Ford Cancer Institute exceeded standards in all 34 areas surveyed and received Three-Year with Commendation Gold Level from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, the highest level of accreditation possible.
- Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital achieved exemplar status for its Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) program, the highest level of recognition NICHE offers. It acknowledges the hospital’s ongoing dedication and system-wide initiatives in caring for older individuals. See all of our 2017 awards.