Pain Physicians: How Does Your Practice Ensure Patient Satisfaction?

Five pain management physicians discuss how their practices ensure patient satisfaction.
Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD, Pain Management Center of Paducah (Ky.): We try to ensure patient satisfaction in many ways. First, the behavior of the staff is paramount. Our receptionist is like our ambassador. Following this, all our staff are extremely kind and friendly. We always treat the patients with the understanding that they are in chronic pain and have suffered enough. We evaluate patient satisfaction on each and every patient by offering them a complaint line, immediate response with filling out of forms, cards [that] do not reveal who the patient is, and quarterly surveys of patient satisfaction.

Marc E. Lynch, DO, Casa Colina Surgery Center (Chino, Calif.): We do quality reviews on every patient, and we review those — every one of them. Based on their responses, whether they're negative or positive, we try and improve their perception of the quality and the quality itself. I think most centers do that. We try to follow up with every single patient to make sure we get that form filled out. If we're failing somewhere, that gives us an opportunity for improvement.

Frank J. E. Falco, MD, Mid Atlantic Spine (Bear, Del.): Creating a compassionate and empathetic atmosphere with the practice staff among all employees; continuous education with staff the importance of customer service; minimal waiting times; constant communication with patients, hospitals and physicians; access to staff; and patient satisfaction questionnaires.

Timothy Spencer, DO, Saginaw (Mich.) Valley Neurosurgery: Our practice performs outcome studies to ensure that modalities offered to patients are providing the best possible care.

Uzma Parvez, MD, Elite Pain Management (Union, N.J.): Patient satisfaction surveys and forms, internet ratings, etc., are not even close to the impact a thorough physician-patient interaction can have. On the initial visit, I always spent an extra 10 minutes with the patient to review their MRI, if available, and I explain anatomy briefly on a model and how it correlates to the symptoms they are experiencing as well as how or why a treatment is thus offered. This guarantees patient satisfaction and without fail, it makes the follow-up visits easier and shorter.

This is an ongoing series which will feature five pain management physicians' responses to questions about the specialty.

Next week's question is: What is your reaction to the recent report citing growing and serious side effects for epidural steroid injections?

Submit responses to before Feb. 21.

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