The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a patient survey consisting of 32 simple questions concerning all aspects of a hospital stay, from interactions with doctors and nurses to housekeeping, pain management, and more. The purpose of the survey is to grade hospitals’ quality: the higher your hospital’s HCAHPS score, the more likely your facility’s reimbursement increases.
In recent years, improving patient experience scores such as HCAHPS has become a popular topic of conversation. Exceptional patient experience is directly tied to patient retention, reimbursement, and in some cases, clinical outcomes. Improving the HCAHPS score takes continuous effort but will significantly impact your facility long-term.
Below are five tips that can help improve your facility’s HCAHPS scores.
1. Increase patient interaction
Prioritizing your patients’ experience from start to finish is a must. Teach your healthcare staff to lead with a more patient-centric, service-oriented approach to patient care. Be sure to have your staff interact often with patients. Doing so makes them feel cared for and reinforces a positive experience for them. Hospitals should also acknowledge that treating patients goes beyond the individual, as treatment often affects the patient’s family.
Hospitals are busy, but you don’t want your patients to feel rushed. Something as simple as sitting down when you speak with them instead of standing will make an impression that you care and want to take the time to care for the individual.
2. Ensure cleanliness
An environment that feels safe and sanitary is important especially right now with it at the top of everyone’s mind. From the waiting room to the physician’s office, cleanliness throughout your institution will put patients at ease and protect their health. It is one of the core areas evaluated and focused on the HCAHPS survey.
Everything from wearing the proper personal protective equipment to limiting air pollution and safely disposing of contaminated materials are best practices for a cleaner environment.
3. Be personable with patients
Spending a few extra moments engaging with patients can establish long-lasting trust. Making an effort to be present with the patient as interactions take place demonstrates to the patient that you are dedicated not only to the job but also to them.
Small gestures such as making more eye contact and saying the patient’s name helps build a strong rapport.
4. Explain patient care clearly
One of the most frustrating things for patients is not understanding information that is being relayed to them. Improving communication by using non-medical language and teach-back methods increases a patient’s understanding of their health condition.
Throughout their stay, educating patients from initial visits to medication, post-discharge, and follow-up plans alleviate any feelings of confusion or unease. Providing materials that the patient can take home, such as written instructions, also helps. Being transparent and clear about a patient’s unique situation and providing them with the right educational tools makes a huge difference.
5. Make sure your equipment is in working order
Having equipment that is not adequately taken care of or repaired will significantly delay a patient’s care. Routinely having equipment checked, inspected, and looked after will ensure a longer lifespan. It also ensures that a patient receives proper care when they need it.
Entrusting the right service provider to maintain and repair your equipment is vital. A company that manages a vast inventory of parts, specializes in repairing all manufacturers’ equipment, and are members of accredited institutions is important to keep in mind when selecting the right biomedical repair company for your hospital.
The core of these tips ties into improving communication within your healthcare institution. Improved communication increases efficiency and thus relates directly to better service. And better service results in higher HCAHPS scores, which will separate good hospitals from great hospitals.
If you’re looking to take action to help improve your HCAHPS score, contact us today and schedule preventive maintenance for your facility’s equipment.
Also, be sure to sign up for your free newsletter on 9 mistakes to avoid when choosing a biomedical repair company.