J Patient Exp. 2021 Feb 26;8:2374373521996964. doi: 10.1177/2374373521996964. eCollection 2021.
Hospitals initiate physician communication training programs expecting to improve patient experience measures. However, most efforts have relied on methods with limited attention to bedside physician-patient interactions. We conducted an intensive in-person hospitalist coaching program to improve patient experience in a community hospital. Full-time hospitalists were coached twice monthly by physician-coaches using a structured process featuring direct observation of care and immediate recommendations. Coach-observed care measures improved marginally. Difference-in-differences analysis of 1137 Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems surveys revealed no significant improvements by trained hospitalists in preintervention versus intervention comparisons, calling into question the strategy of using coaching programs to improve hospitals' doctor communication measures.