Patient Satisfaction

May 21, 2013 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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When you take patient satisfaction very seriously, you will achieve higher quality of care; your staff will be more content with their jobs and turnover will be lower; you will be more likely to stay financially healthy; your competitive position will be strengthened; and you will be less likely to be sued. (Press)

With the above statement, Irwin Press, Ph.D., patient satisfaction expert and cofounder of the consulting firm Press Ganey, captures the essence of the issue for risk managers: patient satisfaction is at the crux of many of fundamental goals a risk manager works toward every day. Just like data gathered from event reports, patient satisfaction scores are important measures that risk managers can use to track and identify concerns about the quality and safety of care delivered in their organizations.

Evidence is growing that the higher patients rate their experience, the more likely they are to have better outcomes of care. Consider the following findings:

The paradigm shift toward focusing on the patient experience of care is reflected by—and perhaps has been influenced by—evolving legislation. Since July 2007, facilities subject to CMS’s IPPS have been required to survey patients using the CMS-developed HCAHPS survey and submit data to the agency’s Hospital Compare website (see Resource List).

By establishing a nationally standardized patient survey and making results publicly available, CMS hoped to create an incentive for hospitals to improve the patient experience of care. This incentive was further strengthened by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which authorized CMS to include HCAHPS performance in the calculation of VBP payments. (CMS “HCAHPS Fact Sheet”) See the discussion Regulations and Standards for...

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