Real Patient Experience Doesn't Show Up in HCAHPS Scores
The first thing I saw while waiting for my surgeon at his office for a follow up appointment was the dust in the corners of the room. You'd think a high-ranking hospital would hire a thorough cleaning crew.
Luckily my surgeon and his office staff have great bedside manners that all but make up for the dust bunnies on the floor (which I have since commented on). He answers all my inane questions (which I preface with, "forgive me, I'm a journalist") and even happily fills out my HR forms right then and there. He would rank high on the "My doctor always communicated well" survey question.
Before you write my surgeon off as being born with a patient-friendly personality, bedside manner can and is being taught at organizations around the country. Sometimes providers just need a little coaching about keeping eye contact, truly listening, and then responding without using too much jargon.
The main thing I learned from this relatively minor ordeal is that no matter how long you study survey results, you don't really know what it's like to be a patient in your hospital until you are one.
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