Improving Patient Identification of Their Inpatient Physicians: Use of FACE™ Cards

1University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
2University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
3University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
4University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
5University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Meeting: Hospital Medicine 2008, April 3-5, San Diego, Calif.

Abstract number: 71

Background:

Although stating both the names and roles of physicians is considered an important part of physicians' introductions, patients frequently complain that doctors do not introduce themselves and that they are not sure who they were seeing or what his or her role was within the team. Improving patients' ability to identify their inpatient physicians and understand their roles is vital to patient safety. We designed picture cards for physicians to introduce themselves to patients. We assessed the effect of Feedback Care and Evaluation (FACE™) cards on patient (1) ability to correctly identify their inpatient physicians, (2) understanding of their roles, and (3) satisfaction with their care.

Methods:

General medicine inpatients were enrolled from July 2005 to April 2007. The baseline period was July 2005 to September 2006. From October 2006 to April 2007, general medicine team members were asked to introduce themselves to patients with FACE™ cards, which included their photo and a short explanation of their role (ie, attending, resident, intern, or student). During an inpatient interview, research assistants assessed mental status, obtained demographic and health information, and asked patients to name their inpatient physicians and rate their understanding of their roles. Names were transcribed as spoken and later verified as “correct” using medical charts and call schedules. Patient satisfaction was obtained during a 30‐day postdischarge phone survey using items from the Picker‐Commonwealth survey. To test the effect of FACE™ cards on outcomes of interest, multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed, adjusting for patient demographics (ie, age), hospital stay characteristics (ie, length of stay), and secular trends.

Results:

Of the 82% of these patients (6070 of 7119) who consented to participate, 3378 (56%) were eligible (cognitively intact and on teaching service). Of these, 75% (2543) completed the inpatient interview. Two thirds (1686) were enrolled in the baseline period and the remaining one third (857) in the FACE™ period. Univariate and multivariate analyses demonstrated that the FACE™ cards improved patients' ability to correctly identify their inpatient general medicine physicians (11.6% vs. 28.3%, P = .005). However, patients' rating of their understanding of physicians' roles decreased with FACE™ cards (57.2% vs. 42.8%, P = .002). Although patient satisfaction seemed to decrease during univariate analysis (66.0% vs. 59.3%, P = .003), multivariate analyses adjusting for time trend showed a small nonsignificant increase from use of the FACE™ cards (61.3% vs. 67.9%, P = .225).

Conclusions:

FACE™ cards improved patients' ability to identify their inpatient physicians, but many patients still could not identify their inpatient doctors. FACE™ cards likely served to highlight that patients have less understanding of physician roles than they had thought. Future efforts to improve patient identification of their inpatient physicians and understanding of their roles are needed.

Author Disclosure:

C. Schaninger, none; V. Arora, none; J. Johnson, none; H. Humphrey, none; J. Woodruff, none; D. Meltzer, none.

To cite this abstract:

Schaninger C, Arora V, Johnson J, Humphrey H, Woodruff J, Meltzer D. Improving Patient Identification of Their Inpatient Physicians: Use of FACE™ Cards. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2008, April 3-5, San Diego, Calif. Abstract 71. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2008; 3 (suppl 1). https://www.shmabstracts.com/abstract/improving-patient-identification-of-their-inpatient-physicians-use-of-face-cards/. Accessed September 17, 2019.

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