Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH)
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging

Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH)

Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) is a 1200 bed hospital with two campuses and several outpatient locations in Connecticut. YNHH’s Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging provides over 700,000 diagnostic exams each year at 16 outpatient locations.

10 years ago, a group of YNHH leaders, together with patient and family advisors, attended an IPFCC Intensive Seminar. Since then, the hospital has established seven Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs) and has over 150 patient and family advisors involved in a broad range of quality, safety and patient experience improvement efforts. In addition, nine Patient Experience Forums have been developed by service lines.

The Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging has a Patient Experience Forum (PEF) with over 20 members representing clinicians, technicians, managers, and patient advisors. The PEF generates ideas for changes that directly address patient concerns. The larger hospital PFAC serves as a sounding board for suggested interventions.

In 2016, the Department was underperforming on most patient experience indicators; scores were stagnant at a percentile ranking of 42 – well below other YNHH departments. Managers were frustrated with their inability to respond to patient concerns in a timely way. The PEF encouraged proactive projects and the engagement of front line staff in developing solutions.

The following PFE strategies were implemented:

  • Pre-appointment e-mails are sent to scheduled patients. The welcoming message, crafted with patient advisor input, provides practical advice on parking and way finding as well as a communication process for patients who have additional questions. Patients are sent photos of parking structures for the two campus locations with instructions on how to access them.
  • Parking vouchers are provided to patients during registration.
  • Post-appointment thank you e-mails are sent with a link to share feedback with managers about patients’ experience. In the first year, nearly 4,000 patients provided feedback.
  • Newsletters highlight activities in the Department and are shared in the waiting room for patients.
  • Press Ganey E-survey provides more timely feedback and convenience for patients. Feedback has increased by 70% since its 2017 implementation.

Following implementation of these strategies, new Press Ganey scores showed significant improvement in all areas. The Department achieved a 74 percentile ranking, far surpassing other YNHH departments (Emergency Room: 39, Inpatient: 47, and Outpatient: 46). More importantly, thousands of patients have provided timely and actionable feedback that has guided successful departmental change.

The Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging is continuing its improvement work and efforts to solicit and respond to patient feedback. Additional changes are underway, including providing patients with radiology reports within 48 hours instead of seven days. The Department will also be exploring the use of texting, in addition to email and My Chart, for outreach to patients.