Patient advisory council aims to strengthen USF Physicians Group patient experience

A newly formed Family and Patient Advisory Council is helping the USF Physicians Group hear directly from patients on ways to improve patient experience at USF Health.

Made up of about a dozen current patients, the group will meet quarterly to provide input and perspective on USFPG initiatives, including sharing ideas directly with USFPG leaders and members of the health care team, who also attend meetings.

Top Row (L-R): Phillip, Ray Morganti, Norman Williams, Mike Bates, Rich, Walter Niles, Hiram Green Bottom Row (L-R): Maureen Murray, Shoukry Maged, Joyce Becker, Ellen Gross, Gary Hunt

Top row, from left: Phil Cox, Ray Morganti, Norman Williams, Mike Bates, Rich Sobieray (CEO, USF Physicians Group), Walter Niles, Hiram Green. Bottom row, from left: Maureen Murray, Shoukry Maged, Joyce Becker, Ellen Gross, Gary Hunt

“Often times, patients are the most knowledgeable people on health care teams,” said Phillip Cox, Esq., LHRM, associate vice president for Quality, Safety and Risk. “And it’s that perspective – the patient viewpoint – that will help us identify more precisely the needs of patients and their families. Collectively, this board will act as a catalyst for change and its feedback on our processes and systems will be invaluable for helping us create a better, caring patient environment.”

The Council is in tandem with several efforts for gauging patient opinion, the largest of which is a patient satisfaction survey through Press Ganey, a national firm specializing in measuring patient satisfaction and patient delivery. At the group’s first meeting, members were introduced to more detail about the USF Physicians Group that they might not be aware of, including the breadth of the practice’s specialties and locations, said Maria Garces, MT(ASCP), MBA, director of Operational Efficiency for USFPG.

Garces said the first two questions put before the new Council were “What is a ‘wow’ patient experience?” and “What is the #1 thing we need to do as an organization to create a ‘wow’ patient experience for our patients?” This early feedback already revealed three key characteristics of a positive experience: access to doctors, good bedside manner, and a great overall patient visit. Several solutions were proposed for helping USFPG better and more uniformly attain those components.

“Our goal is to start fairly small and build across time with the practice,” Garces said. “As the USF Physicians Group rolls out facilities, programs and initiatives, this council will be tapped for feedback on a range of areas, like the flow of new spaces and usefulness of signage.”

The USFPG Family and Patient Advisory Council meets again in June, when it will assign a chairperson and co-chairperson of the group. Members will look into options for communicating and discussing proposed improvements among themselves and with USFPG leaders and providers.

Photo by Eric Younghans, USF Health Office of Communications