Dr. David Feinberg's knack for improving patient-satisfaction scores and transforming the culture at the UCLA Hospital System was a major reason Geisinger Health System last week named him its next CEO, Geisinger leaders say.
Feinberg, UCLA Hospital System CEO, will succeed Dr. Glenn Steele Jr., who is retiring after 15 years as CEO of Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger.
Feinberg, a psychiatrist, said UCLA's patient-satisfaction scores used to be in the 38th percentile nationally, but are now in the 99th. A “getting-back-to-basics approach” to achieve higher scores worked, he said.
UCLA Chief Administrator Dr. Tom Rosenthal said UCLA underwent a cultural shift under Feinberg's watch.
“I saw the transformation,” Rosenthal said. “Dr. Feinberg's contribution to this was very important.” Patient satisfaction became “an incredible senior-management focus.”
Feinberg developed a provider-to-patient “script” called C-ICARE, launched in 2006.
The script included staff member introductions, details about staff responsibilities and asked patients about their needs.
“What he did was very profound,” Rosenthal said.
Feinberg takes over at Geisinger on May 1. He leaves UCLA in the aftermath of the deaths of two patients exposed to drug-resistant bacteria while undergoing endoscopic procedures.
Feinberg was named CEO of UCLA hospitals and vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences in 2007. He oversaw the system's four hospitals and the UCLA Faculty Practice Group after being named president of the UCLA Health System in July 2011.
In another move, Dr. A. Eugene Washington, CEO of UCLA's Health System, announced his departure in January. He takes over as CEO of the Durham, N.C.-based Duke University Health System on April 1.
UCLA officials said they were confident that their health system would stay strong despite the loss of two of their top leaders.
Rosenthal said Feinberg and Washington helped build a solid team and infrastructure.
“Any time you lose two key figures it can be disconcerting to an organization,” he said. “We're sorry to see them go, but this place is bigger than either of them or even the two of them together. The mood is that we will be just fine.”