In this series, we are exploring 5 key metrics that both drive a hospital towards high reliability but will also give an ROI on performance improvement initiatives beyond the initial financial investments.
Today, we are talking about HCAHPS star ratings, read the first installment of the series on readmission rates here, the second on HACs here and keep an eye out for these future topics: Value Based Purchasing scores, and CMS star ratings.
HCAHPs star ratings Overview
The HCAHPS program was developed to provide a standardized survey instrument and data collection methodology to measure patients’ perspectives on hospital care.
A patient’s perception of quality of care often isn’t focused on the clinical care – it is assumed that the doctor is treating their illness or condition. Patients often cannot judge the quality of care they receive.
Therefore, patient satisfaction is likely to be based on what they can judge:
- Were caregivers kind and did they communicate well?
- Did caregivers listen to their concerns?
- Was patient waiting time excessive?
- Was the environment clean, quiet and pleasant?
- Were discharge instructions clear?
- Did they feel their complaints were heard?
So, how can your facility improve its HCAHPS?
1. Measure inpatient experience in real time
Digitally tracking patient feedback in real-time improves their experience:
- Allows issues to be corrected for a patient in the moment
- Patient experience rounding shows you care
- By rounding digitally, you are also collecting data that may be analyzed later to indentify areas needing improvement
2. Ask your outpatients and physician office patients about their visit with an exit survey
Asking for feedback at the time of check-out improves patient satisfaction:
- It allows the patient to express any concerns and the opportunity for those concerns to be addressed before they leave
- Gathering information in real-time is far superior than receiving results from a patient survey weeks after the fact
Utilizing the following five principles will result in an increase in HCAHPS scores:
- Inpatient: every patient every day
- Outpatient: prior to leaving
- Post-discharge calling: extending the continuum of care
- Executive leadership: ensuring staff are prepared
- Physician practices: real-time feedback
TIP: A digitally-based platform that provides real-time information is the only way to measure the success of performance improvement processes. Also make sure to find a high reliability partner that provides on-going account management and unlimited fine-tuning of your rounding processes so it works for you.
We will continue to explore the ways in which each of these metrics can offer return on investments in upcoming blog posts.
Can't wait? Read about all five metrics in our FREE eBook, How to Achieve ROI from High Reliability Initiatives, today.