Prioritizing Patient Experience
Chief of Staff
When asked, do you want your patient to say, “my doctor was the best—he or she always took time to explain everything to me and made me feel comfortable and safe” or “my doctor sometimes explained things to me in a way I could understand”?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires that all hospitals publically report results of their patients’ experience. The reporting is completed through the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers Survey, known as HCAHPS.
I know you have heard about this over the last year or so. I lead a team with the goal of moving the scores up relative to physician communication at Banner Heart Hospital. Six measures of the patient experience are reported that impact the performance pay program for Banner Health including:
- inpatient rating of hospital (9s & 10s)
- inpatient would recommend, Emergency department composite,
- communication with physicians,
- area around patient’s room is quiet at night
- the cleanliness of the room and bathroom
Our scores could be improved—we need to focus on a couple of items. I am asking that you consider the following:
- Notify the nursing staff when you arrive on the unit. Invite them to
accompany you to the bedside. If they are not available when you are round, please circle back prior to leaving.
- Provide time for nursing staff members to ask you questions—just as you do for patients
- Use the white boards to communicate
- Draw in family members while communicating
- First impressions are important
- Knock before entering the patient’s room
- Introduce yourself to the patient
- Shake the patient’ s hand and sit down, if possible
- Listen to the patient
We want the scores to go up. While patients rate the facility overall highly, the individual questions about communication with physicians—whether we communicated in a manner patients could understand or whether we listened to them and treated them respectfully—don’t receive the score we are looking for, which is “always.”
Scores will be posted around the facility. Physicians will receive as much specific patient feedback as we can provide. And do not be surprised if you hear from Laura Robertson, CEO or myself when we receive specific feedback.