Special Edition Newsletter: Creating Dynamic Patient Experience Initiatives

Posted on December 27, 2012. Filed under: Communication, Patient Experience, Post By Christy Whipple |


Your Patient Experience Program: Where to Begin
“…Weave The Patient Experience into the very fabric of your organization’s culture.”

There are plenty of ways to make patient experience more than just another initiative, according to a recent article in HealthLeaders Media. “..To weave it into the very fabric of your organization’s culture, and ultimately to reap the rewards of a healthier bottom line and a reputation that people will talk about with anyone who will listen.”

Does Your Staff “Get It?”
The HealthLeaders article further states that about 95% of the hospitals are current with the latest buzzwords. When asked about ‘patient experience,’ they’ve got it. ‘Service excellence?’ They’ve got it. But Dr. Gnida asks, “Do they really? When we talk to managers who are writing action plans   or directors who are frustrated that they can’t move their scores or grow   their market, it turns out that they’re not really doing service excellence work, which is creating remarkable experiences. Usually they’re doing service   recovery work instead. I don’t want to denigrate service recovery, but it’s a whole other strategy-it’s not patient experience.”

Where Should You Begin? 
How will you stay engaged and aligned? How will you know whether the activities are improving the patient experience? Start with a performance analysis accounting for the HCAHPS metrics. This can help an organization understand the current performance along each of these measurements. Deficiencies in any of these areas provide insight on areas to focus improvement efforts. These measures also provide a baseline and a framework for ongoing assessment of the organization’s progress.

Developing a Plan
An execution plan should mimic a road map. It should include the high level work plan, goals, projected timeline, estimated resources and additional support areas required to implement the road map. Throughout implementation and thereafter, the organization can return to the original analysis metrics to assess its performance. This analysis will provide ongoing guidance for prioritizing the activities that may have a significant impact on the Patient’s Experience.

Communication: A Top Priority

Patient communication symbolizes the largest segment of the HCAHPS survey. Half of the 18 core measures directly relate to the patients’ perception of the interactions with nurses, doctors and hospital staff. These questions ask   patients how closely clinicians listened to their concerns and whether they clearly understood the explanations or directions they received.

To standardize the way clinicians interact with patients and their families, many hospitals are training their employees to use scripted communication tools and keywords. Some compare this attention to that given by a waiter at a 5 star restaurant. This service is believed to improve patient perspectives of the care they receive. It is also thought that it might relax tense patients during times of anxiety.Even body language can play a role. Doctors who sit during consultations are   perceived by patients to have spent twice as much time with them as those who stand during visits, according to the Cleveland Clinic.


Employee Participation
Compassion, flexibility, multi-tasking, and adaptability are important behaviors to evaluate when considering HCAHPS, especially when it comes to nursing candidates. Hospitals with structured performance management processes maintain higher HCAHPS survey scores. It is important employees understand that their performance directly influences the patients’ experience, which determines HCAHPS scores. In order to do that, employees need to be educated on HCAHPS. Consider the following:

  •   Integrate HCAHPS education into your orientation process
  •   Make HCAHPS training materials easily accessible online
  •   Hold employees accountable for HCAHPS through performance evaluations focusing on patient service

Have managers sit down with the employee and create individual goals that align with the hospital’s main objective – to increase patient satisfaction. Once the   goals are set, the next step is to use performance appraisals to measure whether or not the employee actually met their goals. This way, an employee can see how they contribute directly to the organization’s success. By tying HCAHPS metrics to performance evaluations, HCAHPS will become important to everyone at your organization.


Get Started With a *FREE* Webinar!
Are your hospital’s HCAHPS scores less than ideal? Are you missing out on valuable reimbursements? Is patient perception out of line with your patient experience efforts? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions,This is one webinar you can’t afford to miss!

Free Educational Webinar!
“The Patient Experience Puzzle” will provide insight, identify impact points and deliver a go-forward strategy to improve the Patient Experience.

Enjoy a Starbucks Coffee Break – It’s on Us!
Introcomm is happy to treat you to a delicious Starbucks treat   to thank you for scheduling a webinar. Sit back, relax and enjoy a hot cup of coffee as we present our educational webinar.*

Scheduling is Easy!
Simply indicate the date and time you would like to engage in the webinar, and one of our experts will be happy to accommodate your schedule. connect@introcomm.com

* A five dollar Starbucks eCard will be emailed upon completion of the 5 question survey




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