Value based care is now a priority for healthcare providers, and the patient experience is key to hospitals achieving this.
Our frontline driven insights for hospital leadership outline how your organization can begin to achieve this goal, with the latest in new technologies and innovation.
Dale Carnegie first published his famous book, “How To Win Friends And Influence People” in 1936. This iconic book:
- Emphasized the value of interpersonal skills.
- Detailed the importance of customer service and customer satisfaction in business.
- Provided key lessons on human behavior, and the need to form good relationships to maintain a stellar reputation.
All of Carnegie’s advice is still relevant more than 80 years later.
The value of relationship building, both in our personal lives and business-interaction is priceless.
Today, healthcare providers are under immense pressure to understand and build better relationships with their patients. As the healthcare industry has evolved, the patient-provider relationship has assumed an added dimension, the concept of the patient as a consumer.
This shift towards “patient centered care” places patients firmly in the “driver’s seat,” enabling them to make informed decisions about both their health and the most appropriate care for their situation.
Initiatives, such as “Choosing Wisely”₂ focus on empowering the patient by creating a dialogue between the patient and their provider to decide the most appropriate course of tests and treatments. In this initiative, patients become partners in their personal health decisions and feel more in control over their well-being.
Patient centered care is defined by the IOM (Institute of Medicine) as follows:
“Providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.” ₃
Freedom to choose
Freedom to make individual choices empowers the individual.
Patients desire the ability to select their own provider and the facility in which they feel most comfortable receiving care. Historically, patients would seek out recommendations from friends and family to assist them in the decision making process. Today, social media has become the platform through which many patients source information relating to a provider’s reputation.
A hospital’s reputation and the results of HCAHPS scores, as listed on CMS’s Hospital Compare₃ website are scrutinized by the community and by the patient/customer.
Consumers regularly seek out online reviews before purchasing products and services. Healthcare is no different.
Social media review sites, such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, Zocdoc, and Healthgrades are utilized by an increasing number of patients to make decisions about their health and whom they should trust to deliver their care. Patients report experiences, both positive and negative, which can exert great influence on the hospitals’ reputation.
The value of HCAHPS scores
Within value based purchasing reimbursement, the HCAHPS survey scores are used to calculate part of the TPS (Total Performance Score). This score then determines a hospital’s incentive payment.
There are 4 domains to consider:
- Clinical care domain.
- Safety domain.
- Person and community engagement domain.
- Efficiency and cost reduction domain.₅
The person and community engagement domain consists of eight dimensions derived from the HCAHPS Survey.
Furthermore, it accounts for 25 % of a hospital’s TPS (Total Performance score) within the Value based Purchasing Incentive program.
These eight dimensions include:
- Communication with nurses.
- Communication with doctors.
- Responsiveness of hospital staff.
- Cleanliness and quietness of the hospital environment.
- Communication about medicines.
- Discharge information.
- Care transition.
- Overall rating of the hospital.
The hospital’s TPS (Total Performance Score) is converted to a value based incentive payment adjustment factor. That factor is then multiplied by the base operating DRG payment amount for each Medicare fee-for-service discharge in a fiscal year to calculate the adjusted payment amount that applies to the discharge for that fiscal year.₅
High scores on the HCAHPS survey equate to dollars for a hospital.
Multiple efforts exist to improve the patient experience and maximize scores.
Patient communication is key. Healthcare organizations are continually looking for new ways to upgrade the patient-provider relationship, and create a superior patient experience.
Innovation in action: frontline driven insights for hospital leadership
A variable response rate is associated with HCAHPS surveys. The Beryl Institute₆ reports that the national average response rate has been declining since its inception (28% in 2016). Social media reviews provide useful insight, but both of these tools generate “after the fact” feedback.
Leaders are tasked with finding a way to:
- Improve the patient experience.
- Create that trusted patient-provider relationship.
- Improve clinical outcomes.
- Build a positive reputation within the community.
- Identify innovative ways to gain insight and truly understand healthcare from the patient’s perspective.
How can they obtain this invaluable information from the patient at the frontline, at the point of care or in real-time?
This type of insight would allow hospitals to proactively address and resolve potential issues with the patient experience. Likewise, it would enable organizations to quickly obtain positive feedback and identify successes.
Knowing your patients
For many people a hospital stay is frightening. Patients are at their most vulnerable and all efforts to demonstrate empathy, compassion and care are vital. Patients may be alone or may be accompanied by friends or family to help them through their ordeal.
First impressions for patients and families visiting your hospital are critical.
Respect for the patient is integral, as is the nature of communication.
The small details matter and immediate responses to issues are crucial in creating trust.
Patients feel helpless as they worry about their health condition and what lies ahead. Hospitals must give some control back to the patient and the families – they need to find a way to make them feel empowered.
Empowering the patient with innovation
HCAPHS information is obtained post-discharge and social media reviews are frequently scattered and may reflect extremes.
There is a need to supplement this feedback and proactively address concerns.
What if your hospital provided a real-time platform for patients and families to provide confidential feedback?
What if your patients and their families were empowered to make suggestions, share ideas, praise your employees and hospital processes, or ask for help with a question?
What if your hospital could gain access to hidden insights, praise employees, or address potential problems before they escalated, using this innovation in real-time?
What if, in doing so, patient trust was enhanced, your hospital’s reputation strengthened, poor reviews were prevented and employee satisfaction improved?
An innovative solution is already available.
iSUGEZT from VIE Healthcare® Consulting helps patients share feedback in real-time, privately with their healthcare providers.
Hospitals can proactively provide patients and families with access to the iSUGEZT app on their admission to hospital.
The iSUGEZT app is simple and convenient to use and offers patients and their families a platform to send confidential feedback in real-time to hospital leadership through a customer service team.
That feedback can range from “great job,” “such a compassionate nurse” and “my doctor gets it!” to “I have a problem, can you help me?”
Hospital teams are empowered to respond, successes are celebrated and patients and their families feel respected and valued. Potential issues with the patient experience can be addressed immediately with response recovery efforts.
iSUGEZT combines the power of the patient voice and data analytics to provide a platform where your hospital can respond to feedback in real-time.
iSUGEZT – the empowerment tool for patient.
1. Carnegie, D. (1964). How to win friends and influence people, 6th New York: Simon and Schuster.
2. Choose Wisely- meant to empower patients, and to spur conversation between provider and patient as to what is appropriate and necessary treatment.
3. Institute of Medicine-Crossing the Quality Chasm, 2001.
4. Medicare’s Hospital Compare website:
5. Medicare’s value-based purchasing: