eDocTalk article

Physicians highlight access, reports and <br>patient experience at “dialogue dinners”

January 2013

Legacy leadership is hearing directly from independent physicians at "Dinner & Dialogue" events.

Legacy invited primary care physicians affiliated with Legacy Mount Hood and Legacy Good Samaritan medical centers to discuss pressing concerns raised by the rapidly changing health care environment. The Dinner & Dialogue sessions are a direct result of responses to the 2012 Provider Opinion Survey .

Key discussion themes

Discussion during the first two dinners centered around three main topics – access, reports and patient experience. Here is a summary of some of the key points and actions Legacy is taking to address concerns.

Access

Physicians shared a desire for simpler processes and interactions with hospital services and departments.

We are working to improve the ease of scheduling in certain areas, including Radiology Services, which was noted by attendees as a source of frustration following the recent implementation of centralized scheduling. In addition, using the web to automate the referral process is under development.

Physicians did note satisfaction with certain services, such as Legacy Lab and the lymphedema clinic at Good Sam.

Reports

While some physicians shared that they have had positive experiences using Epic, there was universal agreement that Epic discharge summaries are not ideal and that most of the information is high in quantity and low in quality.

There is currently a task force working on improving ED discharge information and communication, with a standardized ED discharge summary to be piloted at Legacy Meridian Park. Legacy also is leading efforts through Health Share of Oregon to standardize discharge summaries across the local area.

Patient experience

Physicians expressed a strong desire for increased seamlessness in care delivery, from both the patient and provider perspective. As one attendee put it, "It would be great if the ED and urgent care felt like an extension of my office."

Legacy is working on an innovative tool to connect Epic with physician office EMRs and to collaborate on care coordination initiatives.

About Dinner & Dialogue

Legacy leaders began Dinner & Dialogue to increase physician engagement and to involve physicians in decisions that directly impact them. Legacy also wants to ensure that hospital and system leadership teams are responsive to issues that matter to physicians.

Two dinners with independent primary care physicians have been held. Legacy selected a small group of physicians for each in order to allow for more thorough and interactive dialogue.

Says Lewis Low, M.D., Legacy chief medical officer, "We’re starting with PCPs because of the crucial role they will play in the transformation of care, but we believe that the lessons learned here are applicable to all physicians and we will be continuing this series of conversations with other specialties over time."

Following each Dinner & Dialogue, attendees received an email from Dr. Low, summarizing the key discussion points, as well as immediate and longer term ways to address the issues that surfaced. Practice-specific follow up items have been identified and the Physician Outreach team is working on those, including sharing information with physicians who were invited to the dinners, but were unable to attend. In addition, we are continuing to explore strategies for building partnerships with PCPs.

Feedback from the physicians who have attended Dinner & Dialogue has been positive. As one attendee said, "I felt Legacy is, for the first time in ages, working to build relationships of mutual benefit."

Events for Randall Children’s Hospital and Legacy Meridian Park are scheduled for February, with Legacy Emanuel and Legacy Salmon Creek to be held shortly after that.

If you have questions about Dinner & Dialogue, please contact Lewis Low, M.D. or 503-415-5330.

You also can use the Physician Liaison contact form or contact a Physician Liaison affiliated with your site if you have questions about any of the topics discussed above, or any other issues of concern.

Sallie Bullock – Good Samaritan and Mount Hood: 503-415-5487 or e-mail

Sherri King – Emanuel and Meridian Park: 503-415-5455 or e-mail

Chris Rowell – Emanuel and Salmon Creek: 503-415-5493 or e-mail