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Cardiologist for the University of Davis, Questionnaire Example

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Questionnaire

About the organization

The University of Davis or UC Davis is rated as one of the top public research university in the county and is part of the global preeminent public university systems, (UC Davis, 2011).

What types of products and services does your facility provide to the public?

I currently work for the University of Davis. We are a very reputable organization in the community and were recently honored on the national stage for being the first medical center in the country to offer laser heart procedures. We are extremely proud of this accomplishment. Everyone in the organization diligently works to maintain the reputation that we have in the community; however, some of us are placed in positions to provide an added face to the community as leaders and facilitators of information. My position as a cardiologist serves as one of those individuals. I currently service an off-site center which provides additional access to the community to prevent the historical barriers that many of our community members have suffered in the past.

We offer a wide range of products and services. UC Davis Health Systems is all over the world. We have a bed acute-care teaching center which can house more than 600 patients and our Veterinary hospital services over 30,000 animals each year.

What is your role as public relations professional?

By working very closely with the community in our off-site center, my role is to make sure that members of the community have the information and resources they need to improve their quality of life. Sometimes patients are intimidated by the larger healthcare facilities and are more comfortable coming into a smaller location where they believe they can receive the one on one attention that they may not get at our main facility. Here at the University of Davis, all of our nurses and practioners are focused on providing patients with the best care, regardless of which facility they enter; however, it is also our duty to provide patients with options for care.

By being an active church member, I am able to work very closely with community members in answering basic questions and disseminating general information regarding symptoms and concerns. Although I have to be careful with how much information I provide, I enjoy helping in any way I can.

What does your job entail? Do you address issues and problems or promote the facility? Does your role involve issue or disaster management?

As a cardiologist, I am equipped with special training and skills to provide treatment and recommendations to patients regarding their conditions. I do not perform surgeries but I do conduct assessments such as stress test, ultra sounds, medical imaging assessments, cardiac catheterization, radiology studies and other heart related assessments. Additionally, my position requires me to maintain patient health information using what we call electronic medical records or EMR. EMRs is a medical database which houses patient information and prevent nurses and physicians from having to wait for paper-based responses such as faxes and files from other doctors. The maintenance of this information is critical as any errors in maintaining this information and data could cause severe illnesses and even death.

As I stated before, my peers as well as myself is responsible for promoting the facility in a positive light in the community. My position, however, which places me in a center-based location within the community, affords me more of an opportunity to ensure that UC Davis is providing the necessary information and care to the community as well as building a professional and personal relationship within the media and with our patients. In order to do this, I may be faced with spending more time than others in community networking venues such as religious and civic organizations.

You also asked about disaster management which is what we call business continuity. I am currently over five different departments. My position is to ensure that these five departments are collaborating and meeting their departmental goals each day. Part of that includes developing and updating a business continuity plan. Anything can happen at any time. We can clearly see this being the case with so many catastrophic events that have taken place across the world over the past few years. Every 90 days, we assess the business continuity plan as part of our quarterly meeting. There are several areas that we analyze each month to ensure that in the event of a disastrous situation, these areas are covered:

  • Making sure that the disaster plan is readily available for employees to see, especially the evacuation plan.
  • Check for any changes in team leaders who will take the lead in the event of disaster. For example, a nurse or practioner may transfer or leave the organization.
  • If any changes have been made or are to be made, we have to make sure we have shared this with the staff.
  • Most importantly is ensuring that the strategy for securing all medical records, equipment and supplies are not flawed in any way.
  • We will also conduct a dry run to make sure that every staff member knows how to track patient locations in the event of an evacuation or change of location. Without going into too much information about the strategy, let me just say that individuals are assigned certain rooms and it is their job to track where these patients are placed during a disaster. This is extremely important to the continuity plan as these patients must have their medicine and personal treatment plan available to them at all times.

What individuals and organizations do you interact with externally and internally as part of your role?

Practioners can interact with a number of different people. It can range from family members, clergyman, third party health agencies, nurses, other practioners, lab technicians, pharmacy and many more. The 1996 HIPAA law forces health practioners to be extremely careful in who and how we share information regarding someone’s information so while we may interact with a number of different people, we are also very careful with this interaction.

Does your organization have a formal public relations plan? If not, do you feel you need a public relations plan? What is your process for promoting the organization if they do not have a formal PR plan?

I actually joined University of Davis medical faculties and left personal practice because Idid not want a role in public relations. By leaving the private practice, I am able to focus specifically on the needs and concerns of my patients. To answer the question, however, UC Davis does have a formal public relations plan; however, this is managed on a higher level. As an off-site, we leave the primary areas of public relations to the corporate facility. Now, as I stated before, we all, to some degree, are responsible for the image and credibility of the organization. That simply comes with the business itself.

If you are asking me if I believe we should have a public relations plan at the local level, I do not. Our job here is to focus on the needs and concerns of our patients and the community. We do offer activities and events which promote awareness – for example, hypertension, obesity and women’s health and I am sure that can be considered as a form of promoting the organization. Another aspect of our local center which I believe promotes our organization is our mobile clinic. The mobile clinic periodically goes into the community for free check-ups and testing. Sometimes, we find that individuals should be seen in our facility if their blood pressure is too high or we sense any other health-related issues. By using the mobile clinic, we are also building relationships with people in the community and creating the rapport that is needed to encourage them to come into our center for extended care.

What challenges do you face as public relations professional?

When you are out in the public, you come across individuals with severe issues and you have to encourage and sometimes almost convince these individuals to come into our center for help. You also have those patients who do not have health insurance and are suffering in silence. There are so many people who do not have health insurance and have very serious illnesses. I am sure you’ve seen the recent media stories about some individuals who actually expire as a result of not being insured. This issue is one that is close to my heart and as a result, I donate my service once a month at University of Davis for patients without health insurance. I know that once a month is not really having a huge impact on this national issue but I am only one person and encourage other practioners to find the time, from our already busy schedule, to help those who literally cannot help themselves.

Reference

UC Davis. (2011). About UC Davis. Retrieved July 14, 2011 from web: http://www.ucdavis.edu/about/

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