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15 HCAHPS Buzzwords Every Provider Should Know

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 11, 2011

We've interviewed a number of HCAHPS experts to get a sense of the lingo they are using as teams gear up to be evaluated. The following is a list of increasingly popular phrases generated by value-based purchasing regulations.

1. Service Recovery Mode
Hospital teams enter this phase of care after something has gone wrong. Call bell wasn't answered? Lab tests came back late? Housekeeping neglected to clean the bathroom?

At some facilities, the recovery effort may mean a visit from the chief nursing officer or even the CEO. At others, it may mean a free coupon for coffee or a magazine at the hospital gift store. For really big hospital mishaps, Service Recovery Mode may involve a significantly greater interventions.

2. Turn on the H.E.A.T
A form of Service Recovery Mode, the acronym stands for:
  • Hear, which also means don't interrupt the patient as he or she explains what went wrong
  • Empathize with the patients' frustrations and say you understand their disappointment and concern
  • Apologize for any oversights or mishaps, and
  • Take action, explaining to the patient and their family members exactly what your team intends to do to fix the problem and make sure it does not happen again.
3. "Yack Track" or "Yap Track"

A device that may be placed in parts of the hospital, such as around the nurse's station, a yack track resembles a traffic light and indicates when decibel levels have reached an unacceptable level. It may serve as a warning, especially during noisier periods, such as shift change. Hospitals install these in an effort to score better on one of their most challenging HCAHPS metrics, quietness, so patients can rest or sleep.

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5 comments on "15 HCAHPS Buzzwords Every Provider Should Know"


Abby (7/22/2011 at 6:55 PM)
Hurrah! for the Yack Track concept. In both areas of specialty that I work in (ER and PACU), the noise level can ratchet up quickly and bursts of noise or loud conversations are very disturbing to patients under stress or in pain. I find (to my dismay) that I'm frequently the one shushing co-workers and the ironic part is that I'm hard of hearing! I'd LOVE to see a red light signaling 'too loud' in the center of the nursing station. Less yap, more tap people!

SLP (7/15/2011 at 5:31 AM)
The minimum 300 surveys that will be submitted, I would like to know more about that.

Claude Albertario, RPSGT (7/12/2011 at 4:34 PM)
I am AMAZED that Dr.Bell (First reply) says: " I could most definitely do without the #3. "Yack Track" or "Yap Track." Sleep, the ONLY time the body regenerates itself and you think the patient can do without that? I am totally befuddled by your lack of sensitivity to this most spiritual and required aspect to human life. Really shows me the mountain we in the sleep field have to climb to get respect for the time supposedly devoted to sleep in the healthcare environment. Truly troubling to read that.