Examining ways to make the patient experience better is an important aspect of great health care. During a recent retreat held at the Mellwood Art and Entertainment Center, UofL School of Dentistry faculty and staff focused on this area of continuous quality improvement.
“Our patients are integral partners in our dental education, and we value each individually as our students and faculty strive to provide the best in evidenced-based care,” said T. Gerard Bradley, BDS, MD, Dr.Med.Dent., dean of the School of Dentistry (pending UofL Board approval).
Guest speaker Christine Cassisi, director of patient experience, University of Florida Health Shands Hospital, Sebastian Ferrero Office of Clinical Quality and Patient Safety, delivered a presentation on creating a vision for hospitality and service.
The model she described has been adopted at University of Florida Health to better meet patient needs in an attentive and compassionate way.
Throughout the presentation, Cassisi led faculty and staff through a series of exercises to brainstorm ideas about everything from creating great first impressions to resolving conflicts.
Several staffers shared examples of best hospitality practices – including talking with patients in waiting rooms about their ideas for improved experiences, and understanding what they appreciated about the School of Dentistry.
“Empowering patients to be active partners in their care is critical,” Cassisi said. “Patients should know that we value their input.”
Cassisi also talked about proper etiquette in shared spaces such as elevators; showing sensitivity to patient delays, wait time and inconveniences; and the importance of working together as a team with staff in other departments.
Bradley is assembling a committee to focus on a few ways to improve patient and student experiences at the School of Dentistry.