While patient satisfaction remains one of the most important factors used to determine the performance of a healthcare facility, they sometimes prove to be inadequate. That is why at Cleveland Clinic, patient satisfaction surveys are supplemented with other information such as complaints and compliments that come through the health system's ombudsman office.
The team at Cleveland Clinic analyses data obtained from caregiver engagement and patient safety scores in addition to patient satisfaction scores. This approach has proven useful since it revealed that high caregiver engagement scores correlated with high scores on aspects of patient satisfaction but not all.
A similar system is in use at Integris Health, a 16-hospital system in Oklahoma. They also use multiple data sources including Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) to measure satisfaction with the clinical efforts of its facilities and healthcare advisor Press Ganey to measure customer satisfaction with the front-end processes of the hospitals.
The HCAHPS survey is required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to evaluate patient satisfaction. The score is posted on the Hospital Compare website and is also used during CMS' calculation for hospital payments. The survey comprises of 22 questions related to the healthcare facility, the staff and the overall reputation of the hospital. Patients are specifically asked to give their feedback on nurses and their treatment, the state of the rooms and bathrooms and whether they would recommend the hospital to their friends and family members.
Vendors often conduct such surveys as well where they collect physician ratings and comments. Patients are asked to answer questions using a five-point scale related to various aspects including friendliness of the care provider, the time they spent with the patient, their level of confidence in the provider and how likely would they be to recommend the provider to others.
According to Greg Myers, system vice president-revenue integrity at Integris Health, it is important for healthcare organisations to adopt a simple metric in order to determine whether they are fulfilling expectations and are moving in the right direction. They use the net predictor score - number of "no" responses subtracted from the number of "yes" responses - to gauge performance.
Source: Hospitals & Health Networks
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