LDI Session Places Focus on the Patient Experience

Following the theme “The Year of the Patient Experience,” Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., kicked off the 15th session of the Leadership Development Institute by recounting a recent encounter with Quint Studer, the well-known health care consultant who helped UHealth-University of Miami Health System launch its patient-centered initiative UCare.

At the meeting, Studer gave the Dean a copy of his latest book, “The Great Employee Handbook: Making Work and Life Better,” in which he had inscribed, “You are making work and life better.”

“He meant that for all of us,” Dean Goldschmidt told the dozens of managers and members of his leadership team who gathered on March 8 at University of Miami Hospital Seminar Center for the quarterly session. “We are all participating in this extraordinary effort to make work and life better for our fellow humans. … We in the United States are in a period of rapid change in health care. We are part of that change.”

Embracing change, Goldschmidt announced a few of the high-level personnel moves he made recently to enhance UHealth’s commitment to providing patients the best possible experience. Jonathan “Jack” Lord, M.D., had been named chief operating officer of the Miller School and UHealth and would replace Bill Donelan, who will retire from UM in May.

“We are trying to simplify the organization as much as possible,” Dean Goldschmidt said. “We are making sure that we have a health system that always puts the patient first while continuing to focus on our goal of increasing accountability.”

The Dean lauded Donelan for his leadership in propelling UHealth toward its goal of becoming South Florida’s health care choice. A surprise video tribute, in which Miller School leaders commended Donelan for his commitment and strategic expertise, followed.

David Lubarsky, M.D., M.B.A., CEO of the UHealth Physician Practice, and Michele Chulick, associate vice president and COO of UHealth’s Hospital Division, discussed fiscal year 2013 goals, which, they emphasized, go hand-in-hand with the “Year of the Patient Experience” theme.

“We’d like everyone who comes in our care zone to experience the same care we’d like our families to experience,” said Lubarsky.

Illustrating great patient care, the LDI session also featured a video of Inesse Dede, a housekeeper at University of Miami Hospital who is renowned for her attention to detail, skill at making patients feel at home, and unrelenting dedication that compels her to visit patients on her days off. The video also included testimonials from patients.

The session’s featured speaker, Vincent K. Omachonu, Ph.D., associate professor of industrial engineering at UM, who has supervised the implementation of quality management processes in several hospitals, managed care companies, home health care organizations and other facilities, presented “Excellence in Communication: Implications for the Patient’s Experience.” His presentation tackled a number of topics, including the first impression of patients, how hospitals make or break their reputations, employee vs. institution priorities, and creating a culture that supports excellence in the patient experience.

LDI sessions for the remainder of the year are scheduled for June 14 and 15, September 27 and 28, and December 6 and 7.

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