Perfecting patient experience: Dallas practice wins Press Ganey Award

Posted by Cheryl Cranick on Dec 5, 2016 10:56:10 AM
3 minute read

Optimal patient care is essential to the work we do at MEDNAX. At Pediatrix Cardiology of Dallas, an affiliate of MEDNAX, the team is serving its patients’ medical needs and also exceeding on patient experience, exemplified by a 2016 Guardian of Excellence Press Ganey Award.

Press Ganey sets a high bar each year by annually reviewing customer service data and recognizing those few organizations that surpass expectations. To receive a Guardian of Excellence Award, a practice’s survey results must rank in the 95th percentile for one of these categories: patient experience, physician engagement or clinical quality performance.

Pediatrix Cardiology of Dallas is dedicated to a belief that patients should leave the practice with more than just the best treatment. They want their patients to leave with a smile. “We really have a staff philosophy of ‘treat others as you want to be treated,” said Office Coordinator Sandra Torres, who accepted the Press Ganey Award along with Terri Wohlever, Director of Operations. “This award is a great honor because we strive to give patients great service,” said Torres. “It lets us know we are doing something right.”

The main practice office is located in the heart of Dallas, though the team also cares for patients through clinic outreach. As a pediatric cardiology practice, Torres notes that few people want to be visiting such a specialist. That is why the team works so hard to make the tough situation easier to bear. “We respect their time,” said Torres. “Before they leave, we answer all of their questions and make sure they have everything they need for their next appointment. We even validate their parking.”

The team feels it did nothing special to earn the award. In addition to a few posted signs about the customer service survey, the office members simply requested email addresses at check out and encouraged patients to complete the survey if they received the link. But the staff wasn’t asking patients or their parents to help the office win an award. The team was asking for help to make the practice even better.

Press Ganey allows practices to review the submitted patient comments, and Torres said many patients shared similar feedback, which told the team members what they were doing right. “We had rave reviews about our doctor,” said Torres. “Patients wrote how much it meant that Dr. [Lee Ann] Pearse will sit with them and answer questions. They said they appreciate that the doctor doesn’t rush patients, and how the staff is always friendly,” she said. But the team did more than read the positive feedback. They also acted on the recommendations.

“One person’s survey said, ‘I didn’t know what to expect’,” when visiting the practice. So we immediately changed that,” said Torres. Now, each staff member introduces herself before each patient encounter and thoroughly explains exactly what she will be doing with the patient, step-by-step.

“Being in the 95 percentile is pretty good, but I told the staff we could do even better. We could be at 100%,” said Torres. “I’ve even asked my colleagues to answer the phone with a smile. The patients might not be able to see us, but they can feel the good vibes,” she said. “We have to keep striving.”

To learn more about Pediatrix Cardiology of Dallas, please visit them at

Reviewed by Sandra Torres

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Topics: Patient Care, Pediatric Cardiology, Pediatric, Awards & Recognition, Adult Congenital Cardiology