Scripps chief experience officer seeks to improve patient interactions through peer-to-peer coaching

As healthcare moves toward a value-based model, it is essential to ensure patients are having the best experience possible. Scripps Health Chief Experience Officer Ghazala Sharieff, MD, MBA, believes physician-to-physician coaching is the way to achieve that goal, according to a recent blog post on NEJM Catalyst.

Though many hospitals deliver feedback to physicians through non-physician personnel, Dr. Sharieff implemented pilot programs for physician-to-physician coaching at Scripps. She found this method to be effective because peer pressure can lead to greater receptiveness. Physicians are much more amenable to hearing statistical metrics when a peer delivers them instead of a non-clinician, especially during one-on-one sessions.

Dr. Sharieff also stressed the importance of small, actionable tips that can be implemented quickly and easily yet still have a significant impact on patient experience. Most importantly, making sure the coach is a known and respected physician is vital for affecting those clinicians who may not have otherwise listened to advice.

"We learned how important it is for the clinician leading the initiatives to gain credibility of staff across all levels — at Scripps, having this clinically recognized physician has been vital to physician and staff buy-in," wrote Dr. Sharieff. "The best approach to improving personal physician scores involves engaging the weaker performers as much as the most motivated; there is always room for improvement, even among top performers."

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