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Press Releases

NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Physician Recognized for Improving Patient Access to Hospital's Chest Clinic

Dr. Caralee Caplan-Shaw, Director of the Bellevue Chest Service, is recognized by the United Hospital Fund for reducing appointment times at the clinic from 49 to 3 days

Providing and expanding critical services supports the health system's patient population, and contributes to Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to guarantee health care for all New Yorkers

May 23, 2019

New York, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue today announced that Dr. Caralee Caplan-Shaw, Medical Director of the Tuberculosis Program and Director of the Bellevue Chest Service, was awarded the United Hospital Fund Tribute to Excellence Award for leading a team of physicians, nurses, and administrative staff in a project to improve patient access to the chest clinic at the hospital. Dr. Caplan-Shaw and her team used several strategies including the implementation of a new electronic consult service (e-Consult) to reduce patients’ wait times for appointments and, once they are at their doctor’s appointments, to move them more efficiently through the visit. The wait for an appointment at the chest clinic went from 49 days to 3 days, and the cycle time, or the total amount of time a patient spends at an appointment, went from 92 minutes to 62 minutes. Providing and expanding critical services supports the health system’s patient population and contributes to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to guarantee health care for all New Yorkers.

“This was truly a model approach to improving patients’ access to essential services, and we applaud Dr. Caplan-Shaw for her leadership and persistence, and congratulate her for earning this important recognition,” said William Hicks, Chief Operating Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. “As NYC Health + Hospitals transforms itself, this is another example of our physicians taking the lead in making our services more accessible and customer-centric for our patients.”

“The Tribute is both a celebration of personal leadership and an occasion to amplify and elevate the vital work underway to make our health care system more patient-centered, safe, and effective,” said UHF president Anthony Shih, MD, MPH.

“We’re not just giving patients an appointment – we are getting them to the right clinic, with the right doctor, at the right time,” said Dr. Caplan-Shaw. “As we improve efficiency, we improve the patient’s experience and satisfaction.”

“I am proud to represent an area that boasts such high-quality medical services for my constituents and New Yorkers. Congratulations to Dr. Caralee Caplan-Shaw!” said City Council Member Keith Powers.

Dr. Caplan-Shaw was among 57 extraordinary quality improvement leaders at 51 hospitals and long-term care facilities across the metropolitan region that the UHF honored at its new annual event, Tribute to Excellence in Health Care, recognizing the honorees’ personal efforts to champion quality of care, patient safety, and patient experience.

Dr. Caplan-Shaw led her clinic leadership team in weekly meetings and their interventions included pre-clinic huddles, regular review and adjustments of scheduling templates, matching provider supply to patient demand, and implementation of e-consults to permit quick review and action on patients referred to their clinic. The project assisted staff, too, improving communication between primary care doctors and specialists, and ensuring that schedulers connect patients with the doctors and medical services they need.

The project was part of Dr. Caplan-Shaw’s’ ongoing work with the NYC Health + Hospitals Collaboration Council, an initiative to improve quality across the system through partnerships between frontline physicians and administration. Dr. Caplan-Shaw is the Department of Medicine representative to the Bellevue Hospital Collaboration Council and the Bellevue Hospital representative to the system-wide NYC Health + Hospitals Collaboration Council.

Dr. Caplan-Shaw earned her Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1994 and her medical degree from McGill University in Quebec, Canada in 1998. She did her Residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Pulmonary/Critical Care at NY Presbyterian and Columbia University from 1999 to 2005. In August 2007, she joined the Bellevue/NYU Division of Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine for inpatient and outpatient care.

More information about the honorees can be found at the UHF website here.