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HM13 Plenary Analysis: “Healing Humankind One Patient at a Time”


HM13 is off to a strong start with a clear overarching goal of improving patient care in a global way. David Feinberg, MD, MBA, President of the UCLA Health System, gave a wonderful perspective of leading a large health care system as an “outsider.” His training as a child psychiatrist helped him look at the human perspective of health care. Dr. Feinberg gave the example of his first 100 days as interim CEO, in which he spent up to two hours a day just visiting hospital patients to hear their perspective.

After continuing on as president of the UCLA Health System, Dr. Feinberg continued this philosophy of “healing patients, one patient at a time.” UCLA is a top-rated medical institution, but even they have had low patient satisfaction scores in the past. By focusing institutional resources on individual patients, UCLA’s satisfaction scores rose from the 38th percentile to the 99th percentile.

Dr. Feinberg also discussed the advantages of having a strong professional staff. In addition to assessing core certifications before a potential new employee is hired, the service perspective is extremely important in health care. Dr. Feinberg has employed the “Talent Plus” model used by the Ritz-Carlton luxury hotels and resorts. This is a program designed to assess service skills in new staff and teach service techniques to new hires.


• “Healing patients one patient at a time” is an incredible hospital approach that leads to better health care, improved patient satisfaction, and even financial success.

• A strong professional staff who is looking out for a patient’s comfort and well-being while providing high quality health care is the touch that will help improve several areas of health care, not just patient satisfaction.

Dan Hale, MD, FAAP, is a pediatric hospitalist at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA

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