PUTTING ON THE RITZ. The pursuit of patient satisfaction has many hospitals turning to the lessons of the hospitality industry. Mount Auburn, Ohio-based Christ Hospital Health Network is learning about customer care from the Ritz-Carlton organization. The health system arranged to have 40 of its leaders meet with executives from the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center for instruction on how to build a targeted, service-oriented approach from the ground up. A new program launches Nov. 1, led top down by hospital leaders, with training for the entire staff of 5,300 employees.

SAFETY NET HOSPITALS GET NO SATISFACTION. If a hospital needs to be like the Ritz to get great customer satisfaction scores, what’s a safety net hospital to do? Forbes magazine points out that in the new era of provider pay that is based partially on patient satisfaction, poorly funded, safety net hospitals are once again behind the eight ball. A recent study by Emory University researchers showed that in 2014, “63 percent of safety net hospitals versus 51 percent of all other sample hospitals received payment rate reductions” under Medicare’s value-based purchasing program. The study cited poorer procedure and patient experience scores among safety net hospitals and suggested that they would fare better if more weight were given to mortality rates, in which safety net hospital scores were comparable to all other hospitals.

WHY IS THERE STILL A “DON’T GET HYSTERICAL” ATTITUDE? A writer’s account of his wife’s experience with debilitating pain and emergency department staff who seemed to pooh-pooh it poses the question of whether health care workers in general tend to take women’s pain less seriously than they do that of men. His wife’s pain was written off as simply kidney stones after a cursory exam, the author reports, rather than being correctly diagnosed early on as ovarian torsion. Although the patient reported an 11 on a 10-point scale of pain, one nurse commented, “You’re just feeling a little pain, honey.” The article points to an essay regarding dismissive attitudes toward women’s pain along with a 2001 study about the subject. It’s definitely worth a read if you care how your female patient population might be processing their experience.

INVENTORY CONTROL GETS INVENTIVE. The Wall Street Journal reports on how health systems like BJC HealthCare and Ascension Health are using such technology as scannable bar codes and radio frequency tagging to modernize their supply chain management, and to track and reorder drugs, supplies and medical device inventory.

PRETTY AS A PICTURE. Akron (Ohio) Children’s Hospital unveiled a 15-by-10-foot mosaic comprising 10,000 drawings by community members, students and members of Scout troops. The mosaic, commemorating the hospital’s 125th anniversary, depicts images from the hospital’s history of family-centered care.


COUNTRY STARS COME THROUGH FOR CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL. The Country Music Association donated $3 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to help with the expansion of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. The Nashville hospital will begin construction this winter on an eventual four-story expansion that will add 70 to 80 beds. Country stars Kix Brooks and Hillary Scott were on hand for the donation. Earlier this year, Canadian country artist Lindsay Ell played a 24-hour concert in Nashville, raising thousands for the children’s hospital.