A new piece of information that helps boost hospital patients' satisfaction scores has just been identified — their medical provider's biographies.

That's the word from a Vanderbilt University Medical Center study which revealed that as many as nine out of 10 hospital patients do not know the name of the person treating them. The easy way to change that result —and to improve patient outcomes — is to tell the patient something about the clinician in charge of their care.

In a controlled test involving more than 200 patients, half were given biographical information about their medics in a short "sketch card" while the other half was not.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.