The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, commonly referred to as HCAHPS, is a survey sent to patients post-discharge and is used to measure how satisfied a patient is with his or her recent hospital experience. Not only are hospitals reimbused based upon their HCAHPS scores, but it is also a differentiator for patients in the competitive process of choosing the right care provider.
Hospitals across the country are focusing on ways to improve patient satisfaction. Below are a few strategies to see the increases across HCAHPS survey domains.
Focusing on patient perceptions
Keep staff members happy
While improving the patient experience is a given when talking about increasing HCAHPS scores, improving the lives of staff members that directly impact patient stays is often not discussed. More engaged and empowered staff members directly translate into happier patients.
Tactics such performing and taking action upon leadership rounds and letting staff members weigh in on decisions are simple ways to positively impact organizational culture that in turn improves patient satisfaction.
Not focusing on the artificial
When it comes to improving patient experience scores, things such as hospital aethetics or fancy buildings don’t move the needle as much as previously thought. Improving the functionality of hospital design, such as moving the handwashing station within view of the patient, has a much higher impact on patient satisfaction.
Use real-time Data
Something easily overlooked is the lack of real-time data about the patient experience. By the time organizations see their HCAHPS scores, they are outdated by 3-6 months. This lag means the hospital cannot identify and improve issues until they are larger problems.
In order to truly drive satisfaction improvements, care providers must explore tools such as digital rounding solutions to understand ways to increase satisfaction before a patient even leaves the hospital.
It is no secret that increasing HCAHPS scores are necessary for hospitals to avoid penalties and to remain competitive in the changing healthcare landscape. Understanding how hospitals can improve patient satisfaction across domains starts with picking the right strategies for your unique organization.