For years, most hospitals have tracked patient satisfaction to gauge the perceptions of their facility and improve their customer service. However, with the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program (VBP), patient satisfaction has become more than a bit of data for internal assessment and improvement. Beginning in October 2012, a portion of the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) is now being tied to hospital scores on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey1. Simply put, hospital reimbursements are now influenced by patient satisfaction scores. This financial incentive has precipitated a closer look at the entire patient experience, and hospitals and providers are paying close attention to every detail.
It turns out that communication is a common thread through most areas of the survey in which patients identify dissatisfaction, and 10 of the HCAHPS questions specifically target communication. Three examples include:
During this hospital stay, how often was the area around your room quiet at night?
During this hospital stay, after you pressed the call button, how often did you get help as soon as you wanted it?
During this hospital stay, how often did doctors explain things in a way you could understand?
Poor communications can also affect the patient experience by delaying patient admittance and discharge, and cause a host of problems in between. Simply put, patients need to see and hear that your staff are coordinated and working in support of their best interest. Patients can receive exceptionally high-quality care, yet still be dissatisfied because of how they perceive staff are communicating (or not), even during short interactions.
Download this white paper to discover several of the pain points top hospitals are focused on, and some of their approaches to tackling them.