HCAHPS Positively Impacted by Employee Buy-in

Posted on October 26, 2012. Filed under: HCAHPS, Post By Christy Whipple |

Employee Engagement and Communication (“buy-in”) Positively Impacts Patient Satisfaction and HCAHPS Scores
Christy Whipple
Team of Doctors

Effectively sharing and gaining buy-in to the organization’s vision is a critical responsibility of a hospital CEO and the executive staff. Organizing efforts to promote a shared vision helps unite everyone around common goals and prevents disengagement – which can lead to substandard care. After reviewing their HCAHPS scores, the team at St. Anthony Medical Center in Frisco, Colorado, conducted a thorough assessment, and found that many of their issues could be improved with better communication.  The comprised a team of directors and staff to brainstorm improvement strategies. They agreed to focus on patient discharge procedures to positively impact their current struggles.

The team worked together to develop a plan before presenting the ideas to the staff at-large. According to the St. Anthony’s team, commitment and buy-in from all staff is essential, because everyone will likely have a role in the process. The inpatient units all worked together and everyone was involved in some way to move the plan forward. The team’s strategy to improve the discharge process was to reach out to admitted patients to answer questions, make sure they were comfortable with going home, and that they understood the information and instructions they received from the discharge nurse. Before leaving, patients also received carefully developed packet of information including a list of medications and instructions for following up with the doctor. As a result, St. Anthony’s efforts have helped greatly improve HCAHPS scores. Based on these scores and feedback, the patients seem to appreciate the changes that have been made to the discharge process. That reflects positively on their entire stay and on patient experience.

Regarding their success, Margaret Breslin, director of acute care for St. Anthony’s says, “We all came together to discuss the discharge process and how to address the challenges. We did research, read articles, and talked to our peers… When developing our plan, we made sure to involve the bedside nurses and technicians in the decision-making process.”Making the vision ‘real’ to employees is critical for gaining buy-in. Every employee has to feel a connection to the mission and vision. Each employee has to see how their role is a key component of the execution of the organization’s strategic goals.

When asked how this experience has changed the organization, the hospital team responded, “We own it. It is staff supported, management supported, and we are all in it together. We are committed to improving as a team.”


To learn more about employee buy-in and/or improving your hospital’s admissions and discharge processes with little to no additional out of pocket expense – please contact us today to schedule our educational webinar.


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