UMH Wins Second Press Ganey “Top Improver Award” for Outpatient Services

For the second year in a row, University of Miami Hospital has earned Press Ganey’s top award for continued improvement in customer satisfaction across the entire spectrum of outpatient services.

Announced at the patient-perception tracking firm’s National Client Conference in Washington, D.C., this month, the award recognizes UMH’s continuous incremental improvement in how patients rate their experience in the hospital’s numerous diagnostic, laboratory and imaging departments, and how likely they are to recommend the services to others.

UMH CEO Dan Snyder, FACHE, credited UMH’s chief operating and chief nursing officer, David Zambrana, D.N.P., M.B.A., RN, for the improvements, noting that “it’s pure leadership that causes scores to go up.”

“When nurses and other staff work as hard as ours do, it takes leadership like David’s to keep raising expectations about the value of collaboration and treating every patient with compassion, dignity and respect,” Snyder said. “I’ve been in many health systems, and he is the most capable CNO and COO I have had the privilege to work with.”

Agreeing that leadership is key, Zambrana said credit for the outpatient improvements and the recognition belongs to the “painstaking” work of Kymberlee Manni, associate vice president for the cardiac, vascular and stroke service lines, and every member of her outpatient services team. Despite year-after-year, double-digit growth in outpatient volume, he said, they continue to increase their patient satisfaction ratings, as measured by the random surveys Press Ganey sends to patients.

“In just the first quarter of this year alone, outpatient volume was 62 percent ahead of where it was last year,” Zambrana noted. “Yet despite this tremendous growth, Kym’s team continues to focus on managing the patient experience by breaking down every single milestone, from registration to departure, and identifying where it could be better. Where we’re seeing incremental improvement is directly related to this work.”

Calling her team’s second Top Improver Award a “true team effort,” Manni noted that nurses, technicians and other staff from numerous areas — including nuclear medicine, the catheterization lab, general radiology, radiation oncology, and wound care, to name a few — are dedicated to touching base with every patient throughout the continuum, which can be challenging in the outpatient setting.

“It’s not like an inpatient setting where we have them for days,” Manni said. “We have them for minutes, so we have a very short window of opportunity to make a good impression.”

The team succeeds, Manni said, by meeting weekly to discuss both its survey results and action plan.

“We talk about how we open and close with patients — how you greet them and how we close out their experience. And we ask the right questions,” she added. “How did your procedure go? Did we answer all your questions? Is there anything else we can do for you? We make sure patients are not arriving and leaving without someone keeping track of them.”

The Manni team’s 2012 Top Improver Award was one of only 19 Press Ganey awarded for patient satisfaction out of roughly 400 hospitals. The lead team members are Mercedes Arrondo, George Benelli, Marva Brown, Mohan I. Cheeran, Bertha Corujo, Miguel A. Diaz, Miguel A. Garcia, Luz Guzman Restrepo, Lourdes Hernandez, Bertha Jimenez, Anne Lee, Rene Martinez, Marie R. Pasquier, Cindy Perez, Monica Perez, Fernando Ramos, Howard R. Scott, Randy Slichter, Pam Solow, Eileen Taylor, Joana Torres and Victor Vega.

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