OBJECTIVES - Patient satisfaction is a key determinant of the quality of care and an important component of pay for performance metrics. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a simple intervention aimed to increase patients' understanding of their orthopaedic trauma surgeon and improve patient satisfaction with the overall quality of inpatient care delivered by the attending surgeon.
DESIGN - Prospective quality improvement initiative using a randomized intervention.
SETTING - Level 1 academic trauma center.
PATIENTS/PARTICIPANTS - Two hundred twelve patients were eligible; 100 patients were randomized to the intervention group, and 112 patients were randomized to the control group. Overall, 76 patients could be reached for follow-up satisfaction survey, including 34 patients in the intervention group and 42 patients in the control group.
INTERVENTION - Patients randomized to the intervention group received an attending biosketch card, which included a picture of the attending orthopaedic surgeon with a brief synopsis of his educational background, specialty, surgical interests, and research interests.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES - Our primary outcome measure was a patient satisfaction survey assessing patients' rating of the overall quality of inpatient care delivered by the attending surgeon.
RESULTS - Overall, 25 (74%) of 34 patients who received an attending biosketch card reported "excellent overall quality of doctor care," whereas only 22 (52%) of 42 patients in the control group reported "excellent overall quality of doctor care" (P = 0.05). Age, gender, race, education, insurance status, primary injury type, and the length of hospital stay were not significant with reference to "excellent" outcome.
CONCLUSIONS - Clinically significant improvements in satisfaction with the overall quality of inpatient care by the attending surgeon were identified in patients who received a biosketch card of his or her attending orthopaedic surgeon.