Over the past few years, the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey has fundamentally changed the way facility managers do their jobs, as it directly affects their hospital’s market share and reimbursements.
Always hungry for an edge, the smart facility manager looks to stay ahead of the game by being prepared for the challenges that come his or her way. With that in mind, here are six tips that can improve your hospital’s HCAHPS scores today.
1. Cleanliness matters greatly from a patient’s point of view, as it makes them feel safer about their environment. Also, patient perception counts for a lot, even if they weren’t in the room when it was cleaned. Developing measurable cleaning standards can boost patient satisfaction as well as reduce the spread of health care associated infections.
2. The exterior of your hospital is also extremely important to patients. With that being said, make it a priority to choose a reputable landscaping team that provides and implements strategic and creative ideas that will create a positive image to your hospital.
Another front-facing area to be concerned about along with appearance: Be sure the signage directing patients to the right places always clear, current and in good condition.
3. It is very important to be well informed on how the patients feel about your facility. It is critical that your employees know what is expected of them. Don’t be shy about sharing and discussing HCAHPS results at every staff meeting. As a facility manager and a leader it is imperative to reinforce the significance of HCAHPS scores. Constant communication makes all team members aware that each and every contribution they make can be the difference between a higher HCAHPS score and a lower one.
Also, better HCAHPS scores mean it’s more likely that a patient will recommend your hospital to others, meaning greater satisfaction and profits.
4. Facility managers should be reaching out beyond systems controls and maintenance issues to interact with patients and visitors, according to an industry expert. To ensure that the patients are satisfied with their stay, go out of your way to communicate with them. This helps the patient see the value of what you and your team are doing.
5. Noise matters, particularly at night. Noise is the top stressor for patients and it affects their perception of care. In addition to turning down all extraneous noises (overly loud radios and cellular phones), be on the lookout to repair carts, gurneys and wheelchairs that squeak, rattle and roll too much.
6. Incorporate the simple principles of AIDET — Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation and Thank You — to improve the effectiveness of all communications with patients and co-workers in all of your daily interactions.
A bonus tip: Does your hospital have a master plan addressing short- and long-term goals? Pushing for one can save money, bringing much-needed order to your hospital and making the facility manager the go-to expert. Having a strong, strategic plan in place will ensure that your goals are met and most importantly, you are meeting the expectations of your client and the patient.
The key that links all of these tips: Better communication between your staff and hospital personnel that leads to higher HCAHPS scores and steady reimbursements.
For more information about improving your hospital’s HCAHPS scores, contact Vanguard Resources.