Physicians are essentially seeking four things from hospitals, according to Quint Studer, president of Studer Group®, an outcomes-based healthcare consulting firm: quality, efficiency, input, and appreciation. The Physician Preference Card is one tool that addresses all of these satisfiers and hardwires a process that opens up communication with physicians.

The concept has long been used in other industries - think travel agencies and airlines -and in many healthcare organizations for surgeons. Now other areas of the hospital are documenting physician preferences in a format that is easily used by frontline staff who work with clinicians on a day-to-day basis.

The purpose of the card is to demonstrate to physicians that the hospital values them, respects their time, cares about their patients, and wants them to work as efficiently as possible. Resulting improvements in patient, employee, and physician satisfaction can lead to bottom lead results, says Studer.

Physician preference information can be captured and distributed in multiple formats, including:

  • Printed Rolodex file cards for each nurses' station
  • Laminated sheets for nurses' stations or for nurses' clipb
  • Notebooks tabbed with categorized information sheets
  • Pocket cards with preferences for key physicians in a unit

Samples of the first option, along with a sample information collection form, are shown below.

Registered users of the Studer Group website ( can access a toolkit that provides step-by-step instructions for implementing the physician preference card system.



Dr. C




CCU then to floors

Information preferred prior to rounding:





Dr. D


Pager:  555-1114 (until midnight)

Home:  833-2350 (after midnight)


7:00am and 17:00 after office hours
Information preferred prior to rounding:

None noted








Source: Studer Group, 2008. Used with permission

Publication Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2009