March 17, 2006

‘Coaches’ available to elevate physicians

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Coaches from the Studer Group are available to shadow physicians as they interact with staff and serve patients. Studer is the consulting group for elevate, VUMC's ongoing and wide ranging improvement effort.

Kurt Spindler, M.D., professor and vice chairman for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, says he got excellent advice last fall from Studer Coach Susan Osborne after she shadowed him one morning in the clinic. Spindler said he plans to recommend individual coaching to all clinical faculty and residents in his department. He also plans a grand rounds presentation to bring the elevate service message to departmental physicians.

“Whether patients follow physicians' instructions comes down to trust,” Spindler said. “The better you can present yourself to the patient, the better patient compliance and outcomes will be.”

A few of the less obvious habits that Studer coaches recommend for physicians include sitting when talking with the patient and volunteering positive comments about clinic or hospital unit nurses, therapists and other staff.

Physicians who want to schedule coaching should contact their department administrator.