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Lenox Hill's cardio-thoracic surgery unit adds patient service facilitator position

Monday January 9, 2012
At Lenox Hill Hospital, from left, are Sara Dolce, RN; Jennifer Thys Rose, RN, nurse manager; Mirjana L. Visich, patient service facilitator; and Nancy Lee, RN, staff nurse.
At Lenox Hill Hospital, from left, are Sara Dolce, RN; Jennifer Thys Rose, RN, nurse manager; Mirjana L. Visich, patient service facilitator; and Nancy Lee, RN, staff nurse.
(Photos courtesy of Lenox Hill Hospital)
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To keep up with patient needs, Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, N.Y., part of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, has incorporated a patient service facilitator into the cardio-thoracic surgery unit to improve patient satisfaction.

The PSF's assessment focuses on opportunities to personalize each patient's experience to meet the hospital's service excellence standards and culture. The goal of Lenox Hill's cardio-thoracic surgery team is to make every patient feel as if he or she is receiving the best healthcare experience during hospitalization, from admission to discharge.

Cardio-thoracic surgery unit staff members Jennifer Thys Rose, RN, MA, CCRN, nurse manager, and PSF Mirjana L. Visich, BS, MBA, said they strive to maintain a culture of service excellence.

To ensure patient satisfaction, Lenox Hill's cardiac service department piloted the PSF role to address patient concerns, employee support/satisfaction and unit ambiance.


Staff from the cario-thoracic surgery unit at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan pose for a picture.
Patient satisfaction

Interaction with nurses has a large influence on patients' perceived quality of care. But nurses are busy, especially during a change of shift. The new position alleviates some of that pressure because nurses can delegate appropriate tasks to the PSF, who provides extra emotional support and care to those who need it. With a PSF on staff, nurses can focus on their nursing tasks, and patients are comfortable because they know someone is always around if they need help. This ensures patients get their needs met in a timely fashion during hospitalization.

In partnership with bedside nurses, the PSF is the meet-and-greet ambassador who handles the patient's daily needs and expectations. The daily tasks of the PSF begin with comfort rounding to patient rooms and assessing patient safety, environmental cleanliness, work-order completion and food service requests. The PSF also enhances hospital services by supporting visitors, such as by giving family members perioperative updates as they wait for their loved ones to finish surgery. The new position also offers visitors and patients refreshments, reading materials, hospital information and emotional support.

Lenox Hill has begun to see success from the PSF role. According to Press Ganey survey results, which measure patient satisfaction, the patient satisfaction questionnaire comment of "likely to recommend the hospital" had a mean satisfaction score (patients who said they would likely recommend the hospital in 2010) of 90.9. After initiating the PSF role, patient satisfaction increased to 92.8.

As the role of the PSF gains in popularity among hospital staff and patients, Lenox Hill is hopeful it will continue to increase patient satisfaction.

The cardio-thoracic surgery, cath lab and postcardiac catherization units have one PSF each. Visich said Lenox Hill expects to hire more PSFs in the future.


In the cardio-thoracic surgery unit at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, Jennifer Thys Rose, RN, MA, CCRN, is nurse manager; Mirjana L. Visich, BS, MBA, is patient service facilitator; and Nancy Lee, RN, BSN, and Sara Dolce, RN, BSN, are staff nurses. Send letters to editorNY@nurse.com or post a comment below.