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5 Ways to Raise HCAHPS Scores via Staff Engagement

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media, January 28, 2013

2. Contract around the culture
Establish the values and culture of your organization within the job description itself. The HR department at Gundersen Lutheran evaluates potential employees with a "Fit Tool," which gauges a small set of values. Questions focus on determining an employee's "fit" with the system.

These questions are directed at determining an employee's response to certain situations, as well as to how they set goals and standards for themselves that might correlate with building patient-centered care on their unit or team, says McCartney. At the end of the hiring process, Gundersen Lutheran employees sign a compact that outlines how they intend to focus on superior patient care.

"In that context we are very clear that we will evaluate them on those compact components," says McCartney. "Have people in your environment that know how to interact well with patients, who understand patients are at the center and never lose sight of why they're there."

3. Establish transparency and teamwork
Making patient-centered care the center of an employee's outlook on their work from their point of hire prepares them to work as part of a patient-centered team from the outset. The best way to inform an employee about patient satisfaction is to make it matter to them. So implement transparent standards and benchmarks for each unit or department. Without patient-centered care as a priority for all staff, your teams and units will lose focus and synergy.

At Gundersen Lutheran, monthly email newsletters, specific to each unit, examine an HCAPHS survey question, why it is important, and how the unit is performing in this area.

McCartney says it unifies team efforts and sets transparent expectations by showing employees how they measure up within their units, and compares them to other teams in the organization. Then they set competitive benchmarks from outside the organization.

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1 comments on "5 Ways to Raise HCAHPS Scores via Staff Engagement"


Molly Neider (1/28/2013 at 4:16 PM)
Our College Department developed a life skills/soft skills program with Cleveland Clinic several years ago and the program is taught at the City of Cleveland's One Stop to prepare potential employees for the culture of healthcare and the expectations of the Clinic. Anyone can learn tasks - the ideal is that everyone is on the same page with customer service. Your staff can make or break you - you must invest in them and reward those who follow through on the facility's expectations.