In 1985, Dr. Irwin Press and Dr. Rod Ganey developed a survey to measure patient satisfaction as a means to improve performance. Today, Press-Ganey partners with more than 26,000 health care organizations in their efforts to measure and improve patient satisfaction.
In 2002, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) developed the first national, standardized, and publicly reported patient satisfaction survey. The resulting HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems or “H-caps”) Survey collects feedback from recently discharged patients about aspects of their hospital experience including: Nurse Communication; Doctor Communication; Responsiveness of Hospital Staff; Pain Management; Communication About Medicines; Discharge Information; Cleanliness and Quietness of Hospital Environment; Overall Rating of Hospital; and Willingness to Recommend Hospital.
Beginning in 2007, CMS reimbursements became contingent on the collection and publicly reporting of HCAHPS data. The Hospital Compare website allows the public to search for a hospital by name or location and compare satisfaction scores against competitors and the national average. Recently, CMS has added Star Ratings to the website to help consumers digest survey results more quickly and highlight facilities who demonstrate excellence. This greater transparency and the financial implications have greatly motivated healthcare systems to devote more time and resources to improving the patient experience.
Since 2011, the Beryl Institute has published a biennial report on the state of the patient experience. The 2015 installment shares results from an on-line survey consisting of approximately 60 questions designed to gain a better understanding of what health care organizations are doing to “improve the Patient or Resident Experience across the continuum of care.” Over 1500 individuals responded to the survey, representing 48 states and 20 countries. The study found that although structures for addressing patient experience are now common, many health organizations have yet to clearly define it. For example, while 83% of U.S. hospitals have a formal structure for addressing patient experience, only 47% have a formal definition and 58% have a formal mandate or mission. The study found that 63% of U.S. Hospitals employ senior patient experience leaders, such as a Chief Experience Officer (CXO), but only 38% of leaders spend 100% of their time in that role. This means that “just shy of 4 in 10 U.S. healthcare organizations have leaders with full-time commitment to the patient experience.” The study found a significant increase in the use of patient and family advisory committees, and respondents identified leadership and culture change as critical components to improving the patient experience. U.S. Hospitals identified the following primary areas for investment to advance patient experience over the next three years: Staff training and developments (59%); Broader culture change efforts (44%); Patient/Family engagement via advisory council (37%); Measurement to support performance improvement (33%); Patient portals/access to records (32%); and Facility upgrades (32%).
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