Simple practices, like proactive rounds by nurses and hospital leaders alike, are some of the best things hospitals can do to have a positive effect on their patient satisfaction survey scores, according to research out of Johns Hopkins.
Hanan Aboumatar, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and member of the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, says most hospitals have made patient experience a priority, but they have taken different routes to get there, to varied results.
“People used different strategies,” she says. “There was no formula [and] some did better than others.”
To find out what works, Dr. Aboumatar and a team from Johns Hopkins sent surveys and letters to CEOs and clinical staff from 53 hospitals across the nation that were top performers or had recently significantly improved their patient satisfaction scores based on December 2012 HCAHPS survey scores.
The survey responses uncovered several commonalities between the successful hospitals in strategies for patient experience improvement.
Other best practices reported by the highly rated hospitals included always making eye contact with patients and sitting by the bedside instead of standing over patients. These seemingly small gestures have a huge impact on how patients perceive their care and the dedication the hospital has for their wellbeing.
While the survey did reveal some best practices for providing excellent patient experience, there is one final point from the research that all hospital leaders should take to heart: These strategies can be implemented anywhere.
Similar practices were reported from all different types of hospitals, regardless of bed size, location or teaching hospital status. Additionally, the successful patient experience programs generally did not require high-tech resources and did not have a high cost barrier to implementation.
Or, in Dr. Aboumatar’s own words to hospital executives, “You can do it!”
For a demo on how we can engage your staff in proactive meaningful rounds, click here.