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VUMC’s patient engagement efforts lauded

Jul. 31, 2014, 8:41 AM

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been named one of the “100 Best Hospitals for Patient Engagement” by Becker’s Hospital Review, the latest accolade for Vanderbilt’s continued emphasis on patient- and family-centered care.

The national hospital magazine selected Vanderbilt and 99 others out of 3,077 U.S. hospitals, based on an “analysis of publicly available data, including readmissions, patient satisfaction and the extent to which organizations offered information and tools that help engage patients in self care.”

Terrell Smith, MSN, R.N., director of Patient and Family Engagement, said it reflects Vanderbilt’s renewed emphasis on patient-centric care.

“We’re delighted that we’ve been selected,” she said, “but we know that we have work to do here, too.”

In making its selections, Becker’s considered publicly available readmission and patient satisfaction rates, patient education and self-help tools.

It also scanned the Internet to measure how much hospitals are engaging on social media.
Vanderbilt’s patient engagement efforts go beyond those measures.

The Medical Center is working to institutionalize its patient focus by creating a Patient Engagement Steering Committee, bringing together representatives of the Physician’s Council, Nursing Staff Council and Patient and Family Advisory Council.

“It’s exciting to see it happen and it’s great to see our physicians and nurses evolving and realizing that an engaged patient will have better outcomes,” said Paul Sternberg Jr., M.D., Chief Patient Experience and Service Officer. Sternberg is also the George W. Hale Professor of Ophthalmology, chief medical officer and director of the Vanderbilt Eye Institute.
“It has got to be about the patient, not about the practitioner,” Sternberg said.

The Becker’s designation comes as Vanderbilt was also recognized as one of just 12 model hospitals nationwide for engaging patients and families as partners in patient care by the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care.

And last year, Becker’s named the Medical Center one of the “100 Great Hospitals in America.”

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