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Jt Comm J Qual Improv. 2002 Nov;28(11):605-13.

The Patient Visits Program: a strategy to highlight patient satisfaction and refocus organizational culture.

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  • 1Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, USA.



Seeking patient input may improve patients' perceptions of the quality of care and provide managers with helpful information for strategic decision making. In addition, the involvement of senior hospital leadership is critical to successful implementation of quality improvement initiatives and illustrates an organization's commitment to enhancing quality from the top down. IMPLEMENTING THE PVP: Senior management's Patient Visits Program (PVP) at Tufts-New England Medical Center is a structured, ongoing initiative in which senior clinicians are paired with nonclinician administrators. During an initial evaluation period (Aug 1999-Feb 2001), PVP teams visited with patients and their families on a monthly basis to talk to them about their experiences. Patient suggestions were then evaluated and acted on.


The PVP has been beneficial for patients and for the hospital team members--clinicians and nonclinicians alike--who participated in the patient interviews. The PVP may serve as a mechanism to enhance organizational awareness of the importance of patient satisfaction. The program provides opportunities for immediate service recovery, and faster, broader-reaching responses to quality complaints due to the multispecialty nature of the PVP teams. In addition, based on early available data, the PVP shows promise as an interventional strategy to improve patient satisfaction scores.


A structured, ongoing program such as the PVP is an effective strategy to highlight the value of patient satisfaction, refocus organizational culture, and generate specific suggestions for improving the quality of patient care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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