Newswise — LOS ANGELES (April 26, 2024) -- Cedars-Sinai is marking Patient Experience Week 2024 with activities to honor team members and the impact they make in the lives of patients every day. The medical center’s Patient Experience Team was formed in 2016 to create a unified approach to continuously improving patients’ interactions from the time they park their cars and check in for their treatments through discharge. Cedars-Sinai Newsroom spoke with Alan Dubovsky, Cedars-Sinai’s vice president and chief patient experience officer.

What would you like patients to know about the Patient Experience Team?

I would love our patients to hear how seriously we take their experience at Cedars-Sinai. We're known for outstanding clinical quality. People come here because sometimes, no one else can take care of them, and this is where they heal and get better. But equally important to us is that they feel loved and cared for, and that they know that we really do take patient experience as a critical part of our mission and our everyday work. 

How does your team engage with patients? 

We are extremely encouraging of patients and their families to be part of the experience in a few ways. First, we hope they share their feedback with us by filling out surveys and sending us comments. There are opportunities to join Patient Experience committees, either in person or virtually via online panels, to give us their thoughts and feedback. We have a great website that we encourage patients and families to visit as well. 

What is the key takeaway you receive from patients? 

We get incredibly positive feedback. Most patients leave our doors feeling very satisfied with the care that they've gotten. However, there are always opportunities for improvement. One area that is frequently mentioned is the need to bring the care team together—doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers involved in the patient’s care—so the patient feels that their care is coordinated. That is an area we are working on improving.  

How are you working to improve access and flow in the hospital and in the Emergency Department?

Cedars-Sinai’s Emergency Department, like many around the country and, in particular, in California and Los Angeles, struggles with high patient demand. Every day, we have a long list of people who want to come get care, and we do our best to accommodate that. We have expanded our Emergency Department waiting room and added new treatment spaces inside as well. More importantly, we're also trying to make sure patients are kept very informed about their care: what's coming next, who their care team is, and next steps. Both in the Emergency Department and throughout the medical center, we treat many, many patients—sometimes more patients than we have room for. We are getting creative in finding clinically appropriate spots to house patients without impacting their care or their experience. 

You recently won an award for your patient experience work.  

We're very proud of our award, the Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award. Press Ganey is a healthcare company known for developing and distributing patient satisfaction surveys, and the award is given to organizations that are in the top 1% in the entire country. The award signifies our work in creating an outstanding experience for our patients with their physicians in the clinic spaces.  

How can patients and families join the Patient Experience Team? 

Our patients can get involved in many ways. We always encourage them to fill out our surveys and reach out to us if they have any additional concerns or compliments that they want to share. In addition, we have some great patient and family adviser programs, in-person and virtual. Patients really do have a wide spectrum of ways that they can contribute back to the organization. Cedars-Sinai is critically dedicated to making sure that the patient experience is top of mind in everything we do. Whether it's a new process, a new building, a new workflow, patient experience is core to our mission, making sure that anyone who comes into our facilities is treated with just the utmost respect and the utmost dignity.       

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