Changing the way we measure hospital patient experience
For the past eight years, Asante hospitals have used the overall rating question on HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) surveys to track our performance. The question asks patients to rate the hospital overall on a scale of 0 to 10.
Although Asante’s overall hospital ratings have improved significantly during that time, that overall score doesn’t reflect new best practices in specific areas, or “domains.” For that reason, Asante is now using a composite score based on questions that are key drivers for the patient’s experience:
- How well providers and nurses communicate with patients
- The responsiveness of staff
- The hospital’s environment
- Communication about medicines
- How discharge is handled
- Transitions of care after discharge
- The hospital’s overall rating
The composite score is simply an average of these domains.
“Communication and staff responsiveness had a high correlation to the overall score,” said Win Howard, CEO of ATRMC and executive leader of patient experience. “But that score didn’t fully capture what patients were feeling when they were in an Asante facility.”
Under the new measurement, employee behaviors can have a more direct correlation to what drives patient experience scores. When leaders round on patients, for example, they’re helping to improve communications and staff responsiveness. When nurses conduct bedside shift handoffs, they’re improving communication, staff responsiveness, discharge instruction, care transition and more.
Should scores dip in any of these domains, the hospital will develop action plans to help improve performance in that area. For FY 2020, Asante hopes to reach a score of at least 74.9%, a slight increase over 2019’s 74.4% score if it had been calculated by the domain composite. (The change does not affect APP, which measures patient experience through CGCAHPS scores on provider overall ratings and perception of access.)
“The things we’ve been working on throughout the year — hourly rounding, etc. — are really important for driving the Asante experience,” Howard said. “And it all correlates to our strategic goal of providing the highest quality services for our patients.”
Why patient experience matters
- It lies at the heart of Asante’s Mission, Vision and Values
- It is part of Asante’s Balanced Scorecard
- It is included in the employee PEAK incentive program with a $100 bonus for meeting the target in FY2020
- It is a key quality measure for top performing hospitals*
*Included in CMS Overall Hospital star ratings and Watson Health’s 15 Top rankings