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JRSM Short Rep. 2013 Oct 4;4(11):2042533313493270. doi: 10.1177/2042533313493270. eCollection 2013.

Increasing patients' ability to identify their physicians with a photo album: a prospective study.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, the Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410013, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Patients in teaching hospitals often encounter difficulty in correctly identifying their physicians. We hypothesized that a photo album of physicians might increase the ability of patients to correctly identify their physicians and hence conducted this study to test the hypothesis.

DESIGN:

A prospective study was conducted.

SETTING:

Department of Surgery, The Third XiangYa Hospital.

PARTICIPANTS:

THE PATIENTS WERE DIVIDED INTO TWO GROUPS ON ADMISSION: group A as intervention group (n = 75) and group B as control group (n = 94). All the patients were verbally informed of their medical team but only the patients in group A (the intervention group) were also shown the photos of their medical team.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

One day before being discharged, the patients in group A (the intervention group) were asked to return the photo albums, and all the patients from both groups were asked to give the names of their caring physicians prior to departure from the hospital.

RESULTS:

Only 53% of the patients (50 out of 94) in group B (the control group) could give at least one of their physicians' name, while 85% of the patients (64 out of 75) in group A (the intervention group) could tell at least one of their physicians' name; there is a significant difference (p < 0.005, 95% CI, 17.4-44.7%).

CONCLUSION:

Patients' ability to identify their physicians can be significantly increased with a photo album.

KEYWORDS:

medical management; quality improvement

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