Posts by author:



LisaAllenLisa Allen, chief patient experience officer for Johns Hopkins Medicine since September 2014, speaks on one of the institution’s strategic priorities, delivering safe, quality patient- and family-centered care that that is compassionate and respectful.

Click on the red Leave a Comment to submit a question.

What kind of feedback do we get from our patients about their visit or hospital stay?

Patient experience is measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey for inpatients and Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey for outpatients. These surveys are mailed to a random sampling of patients after discharge or a visit. The HCAHPS survey covers patients’ perceptions of their hospital stay, such as communication with doctors, communication with nurses, responsiveness of hospital staff, pain management, communication about medicines, discharge information, cleanliness of the hospital environment, quietness of the hospital environment and care transitions. The results are posted on Medicare’s Hospital Compare website.

On April 15, the HCAHPS survey will switch from reporting the results as a top-box percentage to an easy-to-understand, consumer-friendly five-star rating system, similar to what is used for hospitals, movies and restaurants. Our goal is to always deliver a five-star patient experience. View a brief video about how the HCAHPS survey works.

What resources do we have to enhance the way we care for our patients?

The service excellence and patient experience departments at each hospital are a tremendous resource.  The staff members there are available to help walk you through the survey data and comments to gain a better understanding on what our patients are looking for in their experience.

Some of you may also remember the Language of Caring training that was introduced a few years ago. We are reinvigorating this module-based program that teaches patient-centered caring communication. The topics are: Practice of Presence, Showing Caring Non-Verbal, Explaining Positive Intent, Acknowledging Feelings, Gift of Appreciation, Blameless Apology, and Caring Broken Record.  These modules teach us that even though we are caring people, we can utilize specific tools to help us make our caring known to those we are caring for and working with each and every day.

What are some other simple, practical ways we can help our patients and their loved ones?

When people are in the hospital, they are anxious and scared, and they need to feel listened to and cared for. When you help them feel connected, you can resolve problems earlier or stop them before they even start. Some simple things you can do:

  • Use the 3 W’s
    • Who are you? Smile, introduce yourself (by name and role) to the patient and family members, be courteous and attentive.
    • What are you there to do? Explain what is about to happen and why you are doing what you are doing.
    • Why do you care? Show empathy and partnership.  I want to help reduce your pain level.  I know you want to get home. I am here to help you prepare for discharge.
    • Don’t interrupt. Most providers interrupt within 18 seconds. Listen attentively.
    • Confirm patients understand what you have said; explain using words appropriate to their health literacy; use teach back.
    • Work as a team, always. Talk UP about your colleagues.  “I see you have Dr. X as your surgeon. She is fantastic.”  “This is Joe, he is the nurse taking over your care for the next shift.  I have explained how you are doing and he is a great nurse.”

How can employees find out how our hospitals and other hospitals are rated?

You can visit, type in the ZIP code or name of the hospital in the “Find a Hospital” search box, indicate the hospitals you would like to compare, and hit the “compare now” button.

Johns Hopkins hospitals’ overall ratings ranged from between four and two stars. These scores are based on responses/data collected between July 2013 and June 2014. Five of our hospitals received four stars in one or more of the 11 key areas, with all hospitals receiving four or five stars on patients’ willingness to recommend the hospital.

What can we do to improve our scores?

The only way the scores will improve is if we change the experience. We believe that the efforts we’re making today will improve our ratings in the future. Since the most recent reporting period concluded, our hospitals have implemented several programs to improve our patients’ experience.


We will be sharing more information about patient- and family-centered care with you. In the meantime, contact if you have questions.


VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

LeviLevi Watkins, M.D., (1944-2015) was a medical pioneer, civil rights trailblazer and founder of Johns Hopkins' annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration in 1982. How do you remember Dr. Watkins? Did he perform surgery on a loved one, share a laugh with you, mentor you or provide guidance in your career?

Leave a comment below to share your memories of Dr. Watkins.

Listen to Dr. Watkins' remarks at the 2015 MLK Commemoration about tolerance and his introduction of a tribute to Maya Angelou.

View a brief video from Selwyn Vickers, who in 2013 became the first
African-American senior vice president and dean of the University of Alabama at
Birmingham School of Medicine, of how Dr. Watkins made a difference his medical career.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
No Comments

Labor Day is about more than the end of summer or a day off. It's a day that pays tribute to working men and women. As we recognize Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 1, what would you say has been the most influential contribution to the American workforce? Is it a 40-hour standard workweek, Family and Medical Leave Act, Equal Opportunity laws, or paid time off? Cast your vote in the poll below and leave a comment to share your thoughts.

What Do You Consider the Most Important Contribution to the American Workforce?

View Results

Polls Archive

Loading ... Loading ...




VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Do you still belt out  The Jeffersons’ theme song, “We’re Moving on Up,” or get warm fuzzies from Golden Girls’ “Thank You for Being My Friend”? Can we ever forget Cheers’ “Everybody Knows Your Name?” Here are some others: Sesame Street, Green Acres and Love Board. Leave a comment to share your favorite television theme song.  View Paste Magazine's Top 40 list of best theme songs to take a walk down memory lane.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

A National Sleep Foundation poll reported that of the women who responded: 31 percent complained of sleep problems; 63 percent of women experienced symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights a week; and 31 percent had taken drugs to stay awake. Charlene Gamaldo, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep at Howard County General Hospital, shares tips to promote better sleep for women.

Before considering pharmacological solutions for sleep disorders, there are a number of things women can do:

  • Cool the ambient temperature of the bedroom to help regulate core body temperature
  • Dress in layers so you can peel down when you get too hot
  • Drink something cool at bedtime but try to avoid tobacco, caffeine, alcohol and spicy food
  • Lose weight: body fat holds onto estrogen and can release it at sporadic times, which can cause hot flashes
  • Try relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation
  • Get more exercise, but early in the day is better than in the evening
  • Try to establish regular sleep and wake times.

Read more at Well and Wise.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
No Comments

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
1 Comment

Some of the key time sappers include responding to an email as soon as the alert pops up on your screen, participating in too many personal conversations and even multi-tasking. Take the poll below to share what do you do to be as productive as possible during the workday? Also share any tips to help you stay productive and on task.

What do you do to be productive at work?

View Results

Polls Archive

Loading ... Loading ...

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

It is that 20 Nobel Prize recipients are or were Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine scientists? The difficult surgeries that our physicians perform, such as separation of Siamese twins? The innovative Genes to Society curriculum? Or the cutting-edge research, such as working with fruit fly brains? Leave a comment below to share what amazes you most about Johns Hopkins.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Mail Service employees
As manager of Johns Hopkins Medicine Mail Distribution and Transport Services, Roderick Toney oversees the mail system for hospital, health system, schools of medicine, and Asthma and Allergy Center on the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center campus. Read more about Toney in Dome and Inside Hopkins.

Once you receive mail or shipment of items to be distributed to employees across the campus, how long should it take for your staff to deliver it?

Our goal is to deliver mail within a two-day window once received in our mail center. Some areas may experience receiving same day delivery. In other areas, depending upon delivery location and/or how the item was addressed, it could take longer. Our FY 2014 mail tests results revealed that our overall turn-around time average was three days.

What are some of the obstacles in achieving timely delivery?

The most common obstacle is improperly addressed mail and receiving inaccurate personnel data information that we add to our internal database.

What can we do to expedite delivery and receipt of mail, e.g. is there a certain way to address mail?

We process the majority of mail via automation. It is vital that Mail Services is alerted whenever there are personnel changes within Hopkins (new hires, terminations, new students, campus moves, multiple office locations, etc.). That way we will have a record of each employee’s mail delivery location in our database. You can send a change of address to or contact me at or Lakeysha Richardson at or 410-614-2572.

In addition, proper addressing for both interdepartmental and USPS outbound mail greatly influences mail delivery times. Internal mail must have the recipient's full name, department, building and room number. Make sure that all previous addresses have been crossed off the envelope.

Can you provide an example?

interoffice mail





Domestic U.S. mail that is outgoing should include the following:

Return Address:
Sender's Name
Sender's Address
(Dept., Bldg. Room)
Sender's City, State, and Zip

Destination Address





Recipient's Name
Recipient's Address
Recipient's City, State, and ZIP

To obtain the best possible mail service from the United State Postal Service:

  • Capitalize everything in the address
  • Use common abbreviations (see below)
  • Eliminate all punctuation in the last two lines of address
  • Use the USPS' two letter state abbreviations (see below)
  • Use ZIP+4 Codes, if applicable

Make sure the destination address appears on the line immediately above the city, state, and zip code line (i.e. 123 W Main St, Suite 400 or PO Box 125, but not both!)

What are the biggest misconceptions about mail service at Johns Hopkins?

I believe that many feel that Mail Services is a mom and pop operation, just a small room in the basement where mail is received. They are unaware that along with the great Hopkins tradition, we too are on the cutting edge of implementing new innovations and technology from a service perspective.

What’s ahead?

We’d like to see an updated mail services website where employees can submit address corrections and inquiries to improve service.

Which departments receive the most mail?

Radiology, pathology, medical records, cardiology and pediatrics receive about 60 to 70 pieces per day.



VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)