Does your patient know your name? An approach to enhancing patients' awareness of their caretaker's name

J Healthc Qual. Jul-Aug 2005;27(4):53-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1945-1474.2005.tb00568.x.


This brief report determines whether patients admitted to a large teaching hospital knew the name of their caretaker (physician or nurse) and whether emphasis on patients' awareness of this name improved their recall. A survey of 100 patients on the internal medicine and neurology services at a large teaching hospital in BrookLyn, NY, was conducted. A derivative survey was also conducted on 30 different patients to see whether caretaker name recall was enhanced after the patients were advised of the importance of remembering this name. Of patients initially tested, 14.7% correctly stated their physician's name, and 21.3% correctly stated their nurse's name (p < 0.3). After being given the name of their physician in writing and being asked to remember it, 76.2% of a different group of patients correctly stated their physician's name. Less than a quarter of the patients initiaLLy surveyed were able to state either their physician's or nurse's name. However, after a specific effort to have a smaller group of patients remember their physician's name, more than 75% did so. Therefore, it was concluded that simple interventions such as providing the patients with their physician's name in writing and emphasizing the importance of knowing it result in a significantly greater percentage of physician-name recall.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Awareness*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Names*
  • New York City
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Participation*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*