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During his tenure as President, Dr. David Feinberg took patient satisfaction scores in the UCLA healthcare system from the 38th percentile to the 99th percentile, and even then he kept pushing to improve patient service. Named as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare, Dr. Feinberg currently serves as the director of the Geisinger Healthcare System, a Pennsylvania-based network that spans 9 hospitals and 1200 physicians.
Dr. Feinberg rose to the national spotlight when his “One Patient at a Time” initiative at UCLA health center spurred visible changes in the organization’s culture and patient satisfaction statistics. In addition to being one of the most respected figures in health care administration, Dr. Feinberg is a triple board-certified physician in child and adolescent psychiatry, adult psychiatry, and addiction psychiatry. His areas of clinical expertise include attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder and adolescent substance abuse.
Prior to acting as CEO, chancellor, and President of the UCLA healthcare system, he ran the system’s psychiatric hospital, which had a 90% patient satisfaction rate, an extraordinary percentile considering that most of the patients arrived in the hospital by force. The high satisfaction rate was also credited to the humane environment that Dr. Feinberg continues to cultivate in other medical centers today.
Dr. David T. Feinberg was appointed President of UCLA Health System effective July 1, 2011. As President, Dr. Feinberg oversees all aspects of UCLA Health System, which includes the campuses of UCLA Hospital System — Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital and Mattel Children′s Hospital UCLA in Westwood and UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica – as well as the UCLA Faculty Practice Group. More than 80,000 patients are treated each year in UCLA hospitals, which are consistently ranked among the top in the nation by U.S.News & World Report, and 1.5 million are seen in the more than 80 community-based clinics of the UCLA Faculty Practice Group.
In addition to his role as President, Dr. Feinberg has been CEO and Associate Vice Chancellor since 2007, after having served as Medical Director of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital and head of the NPH Faculty Practice Group. Dr. Feinberg also is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry on the faculty of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Along with his commitment to upholding the highest clinical standards for patient care and safety, Dr. Feinberg′s primary goal is to ensure patient satisfaction. Under his leadership, patient satisfaction has increased dramatically, and stands in the 99th percentile in many areas, according to independent national surveys.
Dr. Feinberg also serves on the boards of many important companies and institutions, including OSI Systems, Inc., Douglas Emmett, Inc., the RAND Health Board of Directors and Sound Body Sound Mind Board of Directors.
Dr. David Feinberg shares how he applied his skills as a doctor to the role of healthcare system CEO, a position he initially was only supposed to fill on a temporary basis until “a real CEO” could be found. Stating that he had very little administration experience and few neck ties, he decided to manage his responsibilities in the manner that was most comfortable for him: meeting and conversing with patients.
In three months he learned that while UCLA could perform miraculous surgeries and transplants they couldn’t serve hot food hot or cold food cold. In addition to that, disorganization and less than immaculate conditions prompted only one out of every three patients to recommend UCLA to a friend or relative. Despite improving those numbers to 17 out of 20 patients, Dr. Feinberg expresses dissatisfaction. “In my opinion UCLA is the best in a very bad industry,” he explains. “I don’t think we can stop until it’s 100 out of 100 patients.”
Illustrated with personal vignettes, Dr. David Feinberg discusses the opportunity for improving the quality of healthcare simply by increasing focus on the patient experience. In addition to his incredible accomplishment of bringing more humanity to the UCLA health care system, Dr. Feinberg is a leading speaker on a variety of topics, including attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, autism, pediatric bipolar disorder, pediatric depression, adolescent substance abuse, and the industrialization of medicine.
Healing Humankind One Patient at a Time
Four years ago, UCLA’s medical center was ranked as an honor-roll hospital by U.S. News and World Report—but our patients would seldom “refer us to a friend.” We skillfully performed today’s health care miracles: organ transplants, complex neurosurgical repairs, and saved the lives of those ravaged by trauma. Why wouldn’t those under our care tell their friends to come to UCLA? Were we so enamored of technical expertise that we neglected to listen to our patients and their families?
Over the last 4 years, we have worked to transform ourselves, and today we rank among the very best hospitals in the nation on patient satisfaction scores. This turnaround began with a steadfast commitment by our leadership to see that every patient entering our doors would receive the same care we would want for our own families. We changed from an institution where the unwritten message was “Aren’t you lucky you get to see us?” to one in which our mission, “Healing humankind one patient at a time, by alleviating suffering, promoting health, and delivering acts of kindness,” was reflected in every patient’s experience.
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