High-paid hospital CEO is a hands-on leader with top patient scores

Hospital leaders should takes notes from UCLA Hospital System CEO David Feinberg, who has a reputation for providing cutting-edge medical care and research at his 10,000-employee organization, according to a profile piece published today in the Los Angeles Times.

The healing process begins with doctors treating patients with respect and compassion, says Feinberg. So as part of his patient-centered approach, doctors and nurses are asked to knock before entering hospital rooms, introduce themselves, explain the reasons for visits and to ask permission to perform exams, notes the Times. Clerical staff is expected to smile and make eye contact when talking to patients.

Feinberg is sure to also practice what he preaches. He walks the halls of his hospitals for two hours every day, visiting patients and asking them how staff can make their hospital stay more comfortable.

While some workers say he focuses more on marketing the hospital and generating business than ensuring the delivery of quality care, Feinberg's patient-centered approach seems to be working. Sure, UCLA's hospitals are filling beds and making money, according to the Times, but more importantly, they are scoring high on patient satisfaction surveys. For example, 84 percent of patients recently said they would "definitely" recommend the Reagan medical center to a friend or family member, up from 66 percent four years ago.

To be sure, though, putting patients first also is benefiting Feinberg's own bottom line. He rakes in $1.3 million a year as the highest-paid medical center executive in the University of California system, the newspaper reports.

For more:
- read the Los Angeles Times article