U Magazine
U Magazine
UCLA Health
David Geffen School of Medicine

Healing Humankind

Performing healthcare miracles wasn't enough. UCLA has emerged as a leader in patient satisfaction through compassionate, respectful, safe and high-quality care.

Dr. A Eugene Washington, M.D., M.Sc.Many of you know that I serve as chair of the Board of Governors of the new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). PCORI, authorized by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is a national research organization dedicated to the support and promotion of comparative clinical-effectiveness research. In this role, I am
often asked what "patient centered" means. One sterling example I cite is our own CICARE (pronounced See-I-Care)
at UCLA Health System.

CICARE envelops a set of six communications behaviors:

  • Connect with the patient or family member using "Mr.", "Ms.", or his/her preferred name.
  • Introduce yourself and your role.
  • Communicate what you are going to do, how it will affect the patient, and other needed information.
  • Ask for and anticipate patient and/or family needs, questions or concerns.
  • Respond to patient and/or family questions and requests with immediacy.
  • Exit courteously, explaining what will come next or when you will return.

Why do I see CICARE as an exemplar? It's simple: Because patients have told us so.

Four years ago, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center was ranked as an honor-roll hospital by U.S.News & World Report - but our patients would seldom "refer us to a friend." While we skillfully performed healthcare miracles, they didn't tell their friends to come to UCLA. Since then, we have worked diligently 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 through our doors receives the same care we would want for our own families.

Every patient is now treated with the highest level of compassion, dignity, respect and privacy, while receiving safe and high-quality care. And we have changed from an institution where the unwritten message was "Aren't you lucky you get to see us?" to one in which our mission, "Heal mankind one patient at a time by alleviating suffering, promoting health and delivering acts of kindness," is reflected in every patient's experience.

UCLA is, once again, leading the way for the nation. Following our example, PCORI is better poised to lead a national movement that meaningfully involves patients and incorporates their voices in producing trusted, evidence-based information, promoting better decisions and, ultimately, better health for all.

 A. Eugene Washington

A. Eugene Washington, M.D., M.Sc.
Vice Chancellor, UCLA Health Sciences
Dean, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Gerald S. Levey, M.D., Endowed Chair


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