Baylor Scott & White Medical Center — Irving

2024 Top Docs (NO LOGO)
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center — Irving
Chibuike Okoro, MD, John Yaft, MD

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. That adage applies even to the doctors on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Irving. Patients grade physicians on a host of factors related to patient experience, including communication. Doctors only see these grades later, and patients assign them anonymously, but they help underscore the focus on service at BSW Irving.

“Communication is important to patient care and that’s why most of the hospitalist physicians on our medical staff have taken courses in the art of communication,” said Dr. Chibuike Okoro, Medical Director of Hospitalists at BSW Irving. Patients grade friendliness and courtesy, so bedside manner is important, but it’s just one of many skills to hone.

Building good rapport is a focus area for all staff, but the physicians are also studying the art of asking questions. By design, such inquiries target relevant information doctors need to make accurate decisions and diagnoses in less time. Time, however, is another part of making the grade. Patients must feel that they had adequate time with their doctor, so Dr. Okoro’s colleague, Chief Medical Officer John Yaft, is charged with providing physicians with the resources to prevent the pinch of an abrupt consultation.

This dedication to empathy, inquiry, and one-on-one doctor-patient time is why BSW Irving receives patient satisfaction scores that are in the top 1% of hospitals with similar patient volumes. The staff here can even anticipate objections and reservations some patients may have to the healthcare system, and then confront those issues with solutions.

Dr. John Yaft, who has worked with Dr. Okoro for the past 12 years, noted that “It’s important that we build trust with the public as partners in their healthcare needs.” Dr. Yaft shared that he wants to help doctors talk to patients in ways that create connection and a positive experience. The two physician leaders work in close collaboration toward that goal.

My BSWHealth

Though doctors can and do glean a million details from face-to-face interactions, patients want answers too. Patients who fully understand their diagnosis and recommended plan of care are often more engaged in their treatment journey, so Baylor Scott & White welcomes their questions.

“We get lots of questions like ‘What does this diagnosis mean for me?’” said Dr. Yaft. He explained the importance of speaking to the short and long-term impacts of a disease to answer core questions. Patients want to know if they will get better and if the disease will go away. In short, they want to understand the trajectory of their illness.

To help manage care, Baylor Scott & White recruits digital allies too. For both patient and provider, the free MyBSWHealth app contains valuable information like patient appointment details, visit history, test results, and medications for both in and outpatients. It also provides a helpful portal for messaging doctors.

Dr. Yaft explained that a patient’s primary concern on leaving the hospital is having access to everything they need to be successful in the home setting. While appointments and medications are addressed in person, Baylor Scott & White understands that patients may need extra support. Instead of expecting patients to adhere to medication instructions they may not remember, the hospital offers patient advocates to answer relevant questions about things like how to take medications and how often.

“Hospitalists are the faces that patients see the most throughout their hospital stay,” said Dr. Okoro. “We’re the docs they’re seeing first, and we’re the docs they’re seeing last. We help with identifying the initial diagnosis for patients with a new health condition as well as managing chronic illnesses for patients with ongoing medical concerns.” But that doesn’t mean that doctors do it all alone.

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With a staff as diverse as the community they serve, BSW Irving is proud to meet the needs of the Irving and surrounding areas, and many team members are bilingual in English and Spanish. To offer truly excellent service, however, the hospital also uses remotely based translation services with bilingual speakers working via video for those hospitalized patients who do not speak English fluently. Remote translators have specialized training in highly specific medical terminology that many people would not otherwise need to know.

These patient resources are vital to the perception of patient care and help reduce the feelings of disconnect between doctors and those they serve.

“We have made patient care quality and patient experience our priorities here at BSW Irving,” said Dr. Yaft. As further proof of their enthusiastic aim to provide exceptional care, Baylor Scott & White is proud to report that “U.S. News & World Report” named BSW Irving a Top 10 Hospital in the Dallas-Fort Worth region with specific high performance in the areas of colon cancer surgery, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, maternity, pneumonia, and stroke. Few other facilities in the area offer such a breadth of care. For the location of 293 patient beds, which also houses the second busiest emergency room in the Baylor Scott & White system, the recognition is no small feat.

Role of a Hospitalist

  • Function as the patient’s primary care doctor within a hospital setting
  • Identify initial diagnosis for patients with new conditions
  • Manage care for patients with chronic illnesses
  • Connect patients with appropriate medical specialists
  • Lead/guide the patient’s comprehensive care team like a quarterback

“The hospitalist’s role is tying it all together. They are like a quarterback, helping connect the patient with the care they need in our facility as well as any follow-ups they will need after they discharge.” – Dr. Yaft.

Physicians provide clinical services as members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Scott & White Health’s subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and do not provide clinical services as employees or agents of those medical centers or Baylor Scott & White Health.


1901 North MacArthur Boulevard
Irving, Texas 75061