Bring Out the Cake: Hospital Staff Feted for Jumps in Patient Satisfaction Scores


By Jennifer Martin

As part of a new program to recognize departments that have improved their patient satisfaction scores, senior leaders honored two Medical Center units in December that advanced their scores significantly in the latter half of 2010.

The 3SW inpatient unit of Bernard A. Mitchell Hospital and the outpatient services unit of the Radiology Department received honors for strongest improvements in patient satisfaction results in two fiscal quarters. An outside tracking firm audits the results from surveys distributed to a random sampling of patients.

“Patient satisfaction is obviously one of our highest priorities, and I am delighted with the effort and teamwork that has gone into raising these scores,” said Kenneth S. Polonsky, dean of the Biological Sciences Division and Pritzker School of Medicine and executive vice president of Medical Affairs for the University of Chicago. “I am optimistic that the improvement in the scores in these two units will be followed by broader increases across the institution.”

The Medical Center will recognize both an inpatient and an outpatient unit each quarter. In the first set of awards, the Radiology Department’s outpatient services unit was recognized for making the greatest stride in the survey category of “most likely to recommend the University of Chicago over any other hospital.”

Among inpatient departments, 3SW was recognized for the highest scores and greatest improvement in overall patient satisfaction results (in the “responsiveness” category).

“It’s a great honor,” said Monica Geyer, assistant director of radiology. “I’m very proud of all of our radiology employees. We have been working diligently on making sure the patients have the best experience here.”

Gretchen Pacholek, manager of inpatient nursing, said the staff of 3SW also has been striving to attend conscientiously to each patient. “We have a great spirit of teamwork,” she said. “When one nurse needs help, another is there right away.”

The teams were treated to cake-and-punch celebrations and were invited to sign a wall banner marking their accomplishments. New winners will be announced after the second quarter of fiscal year 2011.

View the photo gallery of the celebrations.