Straight Talk - What transforms a patient outcome into a truly outstanding, first-rate experience?

February 17, 2011

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

What transforms a patient outcome into a truly outstanding, first-rate experience?

Being technically excellent is the obvious and critical starting point for a quality outcome. But the added ingredient for all concerned—patient, family and physician—is the irreplaceable element of delivering excellent patient satisfaction.

In the past, patient satisfaction was not well understood or well defined. Today, however, physicians at NCH and around the country are being recognized and rewarded for having the communication skills to share a caring attitude while engaged in the noble profession of medicine.

We are honored at NCH to recognize 32 of our physicians, who have been singled out for tremendously positive feedback from the patients they cared for this past year. These 32 medical staff members rank in the 99th percentile of the Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey database of more than 1,000 hospitals as has been noted on our website for the past three months (

To quote Dr. Aurora Estevez, Chief Medical Officer, in a response to an inquiry from Edwin Stedem, Board Member and Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Board: “It is a hugely important that they be recognized. Hopefully it will inspire those who are not on this list to improve their patient satisfaction so they can be part of this group next year.”

Nikorn Arunakul, MD
Louis Foley, MD
Holly Miller, MD
H. Morton Bertram, MD
Joseph Gauta, MD
David Ornstein, MD
Thomas Beckett, MD
Mark Gerber, MD
Thomas Parent, MD
Jennifer Bevins, MD
James Guerra, MD
Mark Petrites, MD
H. Kurtis Biggs, DO
Jeffrey Heitmann, MD
Luigi Querusio, MD
Douglas Boynton, MD
Wendy Humphrey, MD
James Scanlon, MD
Elizabeth Brothers, MD
Jacob Jordan, MD
Paul Shields, MD
Gary Colon, MD
Michael Lusk, MD
Dennis Stapleton, MD
Paul Dernbach, MD
Thomas Magardino, MD
Richard Underwood, MD
Daniel Drew, MD
Nelson Maldonado, MD
David White, MD
George Ferguson, MD
Leon Mead, MD

This positive feedback loop helps nurture excellence in everything we do. We have made wonderful strides in many of the technical aspects of medical care. For instance, we can get a heart attack victim from the front door of the hospital to the cardiac catheterization lab in under 90 minutes and stop the heart attack. And we've done that, without fail, for the last year. We have not had a ventilation induced pneumonia in any of our Intensive Care Units in more than 11 months. The added joy and satisfaction of caring for the patient, along with his/her family, is what is being measured by the surveys sent randomly to one-third of our patients.

It's inspiring to have 32 models of excellence in patient satisfaction in our midst, everyday. Congratulations to you all. You represent the highest level of caring and professionalism in medicine today.


Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO
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