Annette Bernard, M.D.
Internal Medicine Physician, Thacker, Thompson & Bernard Piedmont Clinic Member,
Board Member & Clinical
Quality Sub-Committee Member
“I’d certainly be working on quality by myself, but I think it’s definitely true that being a member of the Clinic, you feel that there’s another safety net there for your patients,” said Dr. Bernard. “I find it rewarding and exciting that we can identify, dissect and fix problems, and work together on bigger things.”
A four-year member of the Clinical Quality Sub-Committee and now a Piedmont Clinic Board member, Dr. Bernard became increasingly involved because she wanted to have input on what measurements would be useful to her and her colleagues that reflect quality improvement, while also identifying opportunities to improve.
“I felt like we could muster the power of the Clinic and all the data we have and look for ways to impact the quality we provide and how we can use the Clinic to help physicians provide better care,” she said.
The ability to have information readily available is extremely valuable in coordinating patient care and in getting physicians the feedback they need about the care they are delivering.
Dr. Bernard noted that by simply giving physicians feedback and focusing on specific targets like screenings for colon cancer, tobacco or mammography, screening rates can improve by 10 to 15 percent.
“One of my patients asked me, ‘Why are you always asking me about tobacco?’ Patients know that when they go to Piedmont, there are people who are interested in their wellness and they understand that’s part of what we’re doing – encouraging our community through wellness.”
Coordination with other Piedmont Clinic physicians, especially specialists, also has been a huge benefit to Dr. Bernard and her patients.
“It’s reassuring as an internist to have a group of specialists that I can refer my patients to and know the quality of care is excellent. And together, we’re coordinating care and using Clinic resources to further advance that quality of care for patients.”