News Feature | September 4, 2015

5 Ways Technology Boosts HCAHPS Scores

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Job Growth

Integrate technology to bolster patient engagement and outcomes.

First launched by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in 2006, the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey scores influence which hospitals consumers choose, help determine Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement rates, and even help set private insurance reimbursement rates.

As competition among hospitals becomes ever more intense, they need to find ways to boost their patient engagement and improve outcomes. According to Becker’s, Carol Geffner, President of Newpoint Healthcare Advisors, said, “If a hospital wants improve [HCAHPS] scores, building a culture of improvement will be the framework for attaining the optimal patient experience.”

Following is a recap of five ways Insight suggests your hospital can improve HCAHPS scores through technology upgrades.

  1. Make patient experience central from beginning to end. Greater patient engagement means targeting the overall patient experience, and by modernizing their technological environments in a patient-centered way, hospitals can mirror the outside world while also making the more frustrating parts of a hospital stay smoother and more patient-friendly, building patient trust and raising patient satisfaction levels.
  2. Upgrade Point-of-Care technology. Digital check-in or discharge, touch screen kiosks and flat-screen monitors with patient progress updates, and secure text-based communications all have the potential to improve both patient safety and outcomes, which the CMS also rewards with financial pay-for-performance incentives.
  3. Increase mobility of patients and staff. “Tap and go” systems allow nurses and other medical staff to switch EMR desktops from workstation to cart to smartphone with a scan of their badges. This system integrates electronic medical response call systems, physician paging and patient care orders into a single, mobile system. The end result? Hospitals can make patient care more mobile and more patient-friendly.
  4. Get digitally connected and sophisticated. Being digitally connected means including technologies like smartphones or tablets for nurse call buttons, offering public Wi-Fi with safe and easy access, digital menu apps, or digital kiosks to provide directions and information to visitors and patients. Hospitals that are digitally connected and sophisticated score better than those that don’t, and hospitals that performed better on patient-satisfaction surveys also performed better on other important federal measures that track quality of care.
  5. Streamline communications with technology. Technology solutions allow hospital staff and patients to communicate in a more dynamic, engaged and streamlined manner than can ever be achieved via paper files, telephones, pagers, or even laptop computers. Technology allows healthcare providers to share diagnoses, test results, and other essential medical information digitally, via secure mobile apps, in real time with other hospital staff or patients.