The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Survey is defined by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services as “the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care.”
The survey is used to collect information about a patient’s perception of their hospital experience, and is then publicly reported in order to compare hospital systems across a local, regional, and national level.
The HCAHPS Survey is composed of 27 different criteria: including communication with doctors, communication with nurses, responsiveness of hospital staff, cleanliness of the hospital environment, quietness of the hospital environment, pain management, communication about medicines, discharge information, overall rating of hospital, and recommendation of hospital.
HCAHPS scores fluctuate, so it is important to keep your scores up. Here are five ways to give your facility’s score a boost:
1. Keep your facility clean
One of the easiest ways to boost your facility’s score is by making sure all areas of the hospital remain clean. This doesn’t mean just patient rooms, but also waiting areas, the cafeteria, or outpatients areas. Have everyone pitch in by making cleanliness a priority for every staff member. A patient’s perception about cleanliness can plummet if a nurse or other staff member walks into a room that be dirty and simply pays no attention to it. Cleanliness must be a team effort.
2. The outside matters, too
While you want to make sure the inside of your hospital looks clean and inviting, you also want to ensure that your exterior is also well-kept. The exterior of a facility has a lot of weight when it comes to the HCAHPS Survey, and an unkempt landscape can drive scores down and cause patients to see it as “dirty.” Invest in a dependable landscaping team to care for your hospital’s exterior.
3. Keep noise levels down
One of the criteria that your facility is measured on is its quietness. Patients who are in pain, trying to sleep and recover, and who just want to deal with their illness or injury in peace, do not want to be in a facility that has too much ambient noise. Ways that your facility can keep noise levels down is by watching out for pieces of equipment that might rattle or squeak and limiting their use at night. Ask staff members to lower their voices when they talk and keep cell phone use to a minimum. Noise can be stressful to someone in recovery.
4. Focus on communication
Another important aspect of HCAHPS Survey scores is communication between patients, staff, and co-workers. By implementing AIDET principles, which stands for Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation and Thank You, you can instantly have more effective communication. This helps provide better patient supervision by allowing co-workers to be on the same page and provide better continuity of care, lower anxiety for patients, and build more loyalty between hospital staff and patients.
5. Patients deserve to be informed
In order to keep patients and families updated on their health while they are admitted in your facility, be sure to provide consistent information about their condition in an open and honest manner. This helps build loyalty and trust, and will lower patient anxiety. It can boost communication and responsiveness scores as well, leading to higher overall HCAHPS Survey scores.