Community Hospitals
e-Newsletter
Intelligence Unit Special Reports Special Events Subscribe Sponsored Departments Follow Us

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn RSS

Hospitals Push to Raise Patient Experience Scores

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, September 30, 2011

But in more urban settings, healthcare leaders say good scores are a tougher challenge because their patients are more disgruntled—that is, culturally less likely to say they’re pleased. They say their hospitals are bigger and busier, and their patients are sicker, and that Medicare’s formula does not adequately adjust for that.

Lauren Johnston, RN, MPA, CNAA-BC, FACHE, senior assistant vice
president for patient-centered care for New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation’s 11 acute care facilities, agrees that her patients are tougher to please. For now, she says, the amount at stake will not be as large because the number of Medicaid patients her facilities serve is far greater than their Medicare population.

“Although CMS is starting with Medicare patients, when it adds Medicaid patients to the payments for patient experience scores, the impact is potentially devastating,” Johnston says. “So we’re going to fix this. And we’re
making progress.”

The scores for overall ratings of the system are better than most of the private hospitals in the city, she says.

NYCHHC has 250,000 discharges a year and 1 million ED visits. “We’re huge, in the most diverse city in the nation. When you walk into our hospitals, there are signs in 14–15 languages,” Johnston says. “Everybody has to deal with multiple cultures; they have to be specific in how they respond to each patient. And we’ve learned that what works in one place may not work in another.”

So NYCHHC is just working harder, trying lots of strategies. It has launched a charm school “for a few of its hospitals, a three-day course that teaches staff a cornerstone of behavior: respect. “You have to graduate from the school to work at those facilities,” she says.

Another NYCHHC strategy tries to improve staff accountability. “We have a board up on the nurse’s unit with every single staff member’s picture, name, and title right on the picture. So there’s no hiding who you are. You can’t be disrespectful and think no one will know you, because a patient can go up to that board and say, ‘It was that person right there,’” Johnston says.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Comments are moderated. Please be patient.

2 comments on "Hospitals Push to Raise Patient Experience Scores"


Sue (10/6/2011 at 3:25 PM)
This is a positive! I worked for an organization that placed credence on worker satisfaction and believe me the cuts they made to eliminate qualified staff who knew about quality care was a sin. The focus was to make low level staff content and it showed when patient harm/injuries escalated. CMS standards requirements will deteriorate the orgs who focus on "Great Place to Work" satire; the real customer has been ignored far too long.

Steve Wilkins (9/30/2011 at 10:56 AM)
Can you imagine what would happen to hospitals and other providers if Medicare patients knew the power they will soon have over hospital reimbursement?! Instead of telling hospitals what they want to hear on satisfaction surveys...their comments can actually make a real difference... scary isn't it.