On the Road with Ray: EmCare’s President Visits Terrebonne General Medical Center

Posted on Mon, Jul 18, 2016
On the Road with Ray: EmCare’s President Visits Terrebonne General Medical Center

EmCare’s President Ray Iannaccone, MD, FACEP, FACHE, recently launched a “road trip” initiative to better connect with physicians in the field, recognize teams that are “making healthcare work better,” and brainstorm with those that may be struggling on how to overcome the challenges they are facing.

The recurring “On the Road with Ray” feature will highlight these visits and the dedicated clinicians who are providing care at EmCare sites across the country.

Timing is everything. When Joni Claville, MD, ran into EmCare’s President Ray Iannaccone, MD, in the hallway at the company’s Annual Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, she took a chance and invited him to visit Terrebonne General Medical Center, where she is assistant medical director of the emergency department.

“He seemed very approachable,” Dr. Claville explained. “During his presentation at the conference, he talked about his vision for EmCare, and how he wanted to get more physicians engaged at all levels. When I saw him, I knew I had to tell him about the great things that we were doing at Terrebonne.”

“Our executive team’s first priority is connecting more with our clinicians in the field,” Dr. Iannaccone explained. “We know that it’s impossible to do that from our offices, so I’ve challenged our team to find ways to meet and really engage in meaningful conversations with our employees. We won’t know what’s working and what isn’t if we don’t listen to the men and women who are on the frontlines delivering care every day.”

Dr. Iannaccone had a trip to New Orleans scheduled, and said he and several members of EmCare’s executive team would gladly stop at the Houma, La.-based hospital.

Dr. Claville, Owen Grossman, MD, the Site Medical Director of the ED at Terrebonne General; Michael Isabelle, MD, Regional Medical Director, and several members of the medical center’s administration, including CEO Phyllis Peoples and Vice President of Physician Practice Partners, Sid Hutchinson, met with Dr. Iannaccone; David Marks, EmCare’s Chief Operating Officer, and Terry Meadows, MD, Chief Executive Officer of EmCare’s South Division. They toured the facility and got to see the day-to-day operations in the emergency department.

“It was an intimate meeting. Everyone got a chance to get to know one another, and it was a great opportunity for us to discuss what was working and where we could work together to improve and grow,” said Dr. Claville.

“It was very impressive to hear about all of the forward-looking initiatives going on at the hospital and in the community,” said Dr. Iannaccone.  In 2014, Forbes ranked Houma as one of the fastest growing small cities in the United States. Nevertheless, with Houma being a small metropolis with a comparable physician base, “The environment created at Terrebonne General keeps people connected and interested. They are doing it right,” said Dr. Iannaconne.

A Track Record of Success

When Terrebonne General’s ED leadership set a goal of increasing Press Ganey survey scores for ED Physician-Patient Perception Measures for “Overall Communication with Providers,” it was a collaborative effort between EmCare and the medical center to meet the metric.

EmCare sponsored patient perception communication workshops, customized for Terrebonne, which focused on best practices to improve the patient experience, including:

  • Teach Back, a method to confirm patient and caregiver understanding of the course of treatment and follow-up care
  • Outstanding leadership and participation
  • Coaching techniques for improving patient communication and the use of AIDET®, the Studer Group® communication tactic

The initiative netted positive results: ED Physician-Patient Perception Measures improved by 60 percent from the first quarter to the fourth quarter of 2015.

A continuation of this collaborative spirit, the visit was more than just a meet and greet among executives, especially for Dr. Claville, who’s been with EmCare since residency.

“This meeting solidified how I feel about this organization,” explained Dr. Claville. “It was like talking to a group of friends. They really wanted to hear what we had to say and provided solid feedback. They made us feel like we were important. That’s great for a small facility like ours that can get lost in a large organization with much bigger clients.”
On the Road with Ray

Dr. Claville admits that when she completed her residency, she was very reluctant to join a large national physician practice. However, when she toured a few EmCare facilities and spoke with emergency medicine leaders within the organization, she said she felt like the company could offer the right balance of national opportunities and localized support.

“Although the company is large and growing exponentially, it still has its fingers on the pulse of the people – its employees,” she said. “That was and still is important to me and to my staff.”
Regarding the impact that Dr. Iannaccone’s visit had on the facility, Dr. Claville said that the conversations that day helped “plant the seeds” for further growth and collaboration between the organizations – a “win-win for everyone.”

Check back for the next installment of On the Road with Ray! And, if you would like to request that Dr. Iannaccone visit your site, please contact

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