Doctor Who? A Quality Improvement Project to Assess and Improve Patients' Knowledge of Their Inpatient Physicians.


Background Patient-physician communication is an integral part of high-quality patient care and an expectation of the Clinical Learning Environment Review program. Objective This quality improvement initiative evaluated the impact of an educational audit and feedback intervention on the frequency of use of 2 tools-business cards and white boards-to improve provider identification. Methods This before-after study utilized patient surveys to determine the ability of those patients to name and recognize their physicians. The before phase began in July 2013. From September 2013 to May 2014, physicians received education on business card and white board use. Results We surveyed 378 patients. Our intervention improved white board utilization (72.2% postintervention versus 54.5% preintervention, P < .01) and slightly improved business card use (44.4% versus 33.7%, P = .07), but did not improve physician recognition. Only 20.3% (14 of 69) of patients could name their physician without use of the business card or white board. Data from all study phases showed the use of both tools improved patients' ability to name physicians (OR = 1.72 and OR = 2.12, respectively; OR = 3.68 for both; P < .05 for all), but had no effect on photograph recognition. Conclusions Our educational intervention improved white board use, but did not result in improved patient ability to recognize physicians. Pooled data of business cards and white boards, alone or combined, improved name recognition, suggesting better use of these tools may increase identification. Future initiatives should target other barriers to usage of these types of tools.





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Publication Info

Broderick-Forsgren, Kathleen, Wynn G Hunter, Ryan D Schulteis, Wen-Wei Liu, Joel C Boggan, Poonam Sharma, Steven Thomas, Aimee Zaas, et al. (2016). Doctor Who? A Quality Improvement Project to Assess and Improve Patients' Knowledge of Their Inpatient Physicians. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 8(2). pp. 197–201. 10.4300/JGME-D-15-00067.1 Retrieved from

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Joel Boggan

Associate Professor of Medicine

I am a hospital medicine physician interested in quality improvement, patient safety, and medical education across the UME, GME, and CME environments. My current QI and research projects include work on readmissions, inpatient ORYX and patient experience measures, clinical documentation improvement, medication reconciliation, and appropriate utilization of inpatient resources. Alongside this work, I serve as the lead mentor for our Durham VA Chief Resident in Quality and Safety within the Department of Medicine and the Program Director for the Duke University Hospital CRQS.

As Associate Program Director for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety in the Duke Internal Medicine Residency Program, I oversee QI and safety education and projects for our residents and help co-lead our Residency Patient Safety and Quality Council. Additionally, I supervise housestaff and students on our general medicine wards, precept housestaff evidence-based medicine resident reports, and serve as a small group leader for our second-year medical student Clinical Skills Course. Finally, I lead our Innovation Sciences committee as part of the ongoing School of Medicine Curriculum Innovation Initiative.


Aimee Kirsch Zaas

Professor of Medicine

Medical education
Genomic applications for diagnosis of infectious diseases
Genomic applications for prediction of infectious diseases

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