Maryland’s The Daily Record has honored PA-C Edwin Tenali as its Healthcare Hero for 2022.
But Tenali, to no one’s surprise, is quick to credit his entire team for reaching impressive metrics in reducing readmits.
However, he explained, he does deploy an effective strategy that has always worked for him: listening to his patients.
“I would never want anyone to say of me that I didn’t spend enough time with them,” he said. “I genuinely care for each of my patients, and I take the time to really listen – and then I take a lot of time to explain their condition in the most simple way I can so that non-medical people can understand exactly what is going on.”
He also puts instructions in writing, for both patients and their caretakers both in the hospital and in discharge reports – and makes sure everyone involved understands those instructions, too. He utilizes whiteboards to keep patients abreast of what the plans are, what they are waiting on, and who they are waiting to see.
“I do my best to treat every patient like a family member,” Tenali said. “That helps me establish trust and a good rapport. I often get asked if I have a private office or if I’m accepting patients. That is a huge compliment.”
Tenali didn’t even know what a hospitalist was when he was hired for his first job out of PA school.
“I was still in my clinical rotations when one of the faculty members at my PA program called me and asked me to join a new group that her former boss was starting,” he said. “I completed three months of training, then passed my board exam – and I’ve never looked back. I’ve only worked at three hospitals in my career, but I love serving with the leadership team here at Carroll Hospital.”
Tenali has been part of a team that implemented discharge calls one or two days post release from the hospital which has been an effective way to lower readmissions and improve patient satisfaction.
“Patients are shocked when we call, but so grateful as well,” he said. “There’s typically just a lot of appreciation, but sometimes we can catch something amiss and direct them to the right person, or simply make sure they’re following up with their primary care provider.”
Tenali noted that he can’t believe that he’s been working in his field for 16 years already.
“I have such a passion for hospital medicine,” he said. “It’s a very fulfilling career, and grateful to do a job I love each and every day.”