Patient Experience: Hospitals' Holy Grail?
So while hospitals will need to tighten their belts with regard to expenses, they also need to prioritize their capital investments in resources that improve care delivery and the patient experience. According to the HealthCare.gov website, the Patient Experience of Care Measure will use HCAHPS scores to calculate the following:
- How well nurses communicated with patients
- How well doctors communicated with patients
- How responsive was the hospital to patients' needs
- How well caregivers managed patients' pain
- How well caregivers explained patients' medications to them
- How clean and quiet the hospital was
- How well caregivers explained the steps patients and families need to take to care for themselves outside of the hospital (i.e., discharge instructions)
The patient experience score represents one-third of the final grade, and many hospitals and associations are sounding the alarm and asking whether they can be graded on a curve.
But grading on a curve isn't in the best interest of patients. We must stop putting silos around the various facets of healthcare. If hospitals are graded on a curve, then they may focus on safety and the bottom line, while ignoring the patient experience. The truth is, the patient experience impacts both.
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