A Quick Guide to CAHPS for PQRS

Posted by Greg Hyman on Mar 24, 2015 6:00:00 AM

The last few months have witnessed several notable developments regarding the CAHPS for PQRS survey, an instrument designed to assess the quality of care provided by physician groups participating in the Physician Quality Reporting System program. This article provides an overview of the instrument and recent changes to the survey that will impact participating groups and physicians.

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Methods for Improving Hospital Staff Responsiveness

Posted by Brian Ellis on Mar 17, 2015 5:03:00 PM

Responsiveness of hospital staff is central to providing a positive patient experience.  If a caregiver’s response time to a call light request is too slow, a patient may feel as though they are unimportant, that their needs are not being met, or in a worst case scenario, that they've been forgotten completely.  Additionally, if a patient’s concerns are not fully addressed during a call light response, the overall responsiveness to their concerns may not be considered timely. 

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Topics: HCAHPS, Patient Surveys, communication, hospital staff responsiveness,

Increase Employee Engagement This St. Patrick’s Day

Posted by Hannah Johnson on Mar 17, 2015 9:55:58 AM

employee engagement survey
"4-leaf clover" by Joe Papp - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

All month long, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with festive gatherings and parties for all ages. So why not bring the St. Patty’s Day fun to the office?

Whether we’re approaching St. Patty’s Day or contemplating workplace extras like free snacks, the old mindset “work isn’t supposed to be fun” is completely counterproductive. Today, competition for top talent is fierce. Introducing fun activities like St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to the workplace is a useful practice for companies who wish to compete.

In fact, an Avatar Solutions study analyzing thousands of employee engagement survey responses across numerous industries revealed that fun in the workplace and employee engagement are positively correlated. This means that when levels of fun increase, employee engagement is also likely to increase, leading to positive business outcomes like reduced turnover, increased productivity, and higher revenue.

Continue reading to learn about four ways you can engage employees and have some fun at work by celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in your office.

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Topics: employee engagement survey, employee engagement, employee engagement in the workplace

Three Recommended Discussions for an Effective CG-CAHPS Survey

Posted by Melissa Herrett on Mar 10, 2015 12:56:33 PM

Untitled-1As each day passes, the Clinician and Group CAHPS (CG-CAHPS) Survey is receiving more and more attention from healthcare organizations. At this point in time, practices with 100 or more providers must participate at the group level, and the requirement is expected to expand to smaller groups in 2016. Provider groups and clinicians are increasingly adopting the instrument now to get a head start on measurement and improvement efforts.

Despite the relative “newness” of the CG-CAHPS survey, numerous organizations have been conducting the survey over the past few years, and best practices and techniques for effective survey administration have emerged as a result. Connecting with other organizations that have experience implementing the survey will help you to determine the most appropriate plan. Avatar and other vendors can assist you in identifying such organizations and facilitating introductions.
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Topics: CG-CAHPS

Resources for Improving CG-CAHPS Survey Scores

Posted by Martin Smith on Mar 5, 2015 2:18:37 PM

CAHPS SurveysFor organizations that seek to provide a better patient experience, there are many useful resources that offer helpful information about how organizations use survey data to improve care. Here are several links to case studies, presentations, and podcasts that offer ways to improve using survey data. 

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Topics: CG-CAHPS

EDPEC - What It Is and Why It Matters

Posted by Melissa Herrett on Feb 26, 2015 1:20:14 PM

According to a recent study conducted by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision-making through research and analysis, the emergency department (ED) now accounts for approximately half of all hospital admissions.

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The Top 5 Questions to Ask a CG-CAHPS Survey Vendor

Posted by Greg Hyman on Feb 24, 2015 7:00:00 AM

Feel like you're comparing apples to oranges? Take control of your vendor evaluation process to identify real value.

Working with an experienced vendor for your CG-CAHPS Surveys can yield many benefits for your organization. From assistance with data analysis to consultation on industry best practices, CG-CAHPS vendors offer a variety of services that can help you improve patients' experiences of care in a meaningful way. However, each vendor offers a unique array of competencies and capabilities, making the selection process challenging for many patient experience leaders.

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Topics: CG-CAHPS

Ways to Use Employee Survey Comments to Improve Your Company

Posted by Brian Ellis on Feb 20, 2015 2:36:00 PM

Employee Engagement Surveys can be designed in a variety of ways to meet the precise needs of your business.  From adding simple yes/no items, to items that include a full response scale, the design options are practically limitless and can be customized to what your business is looking to measure.  One particularly common design option, the open-ended comment prompt, is a powerful tool for identifying opportunities and approaches for improving your company.

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Topics: employee survey questions, employee engagement survey, employee survey

How and Why to Customize Your Patient Survey Cover Letters

Posted by Hannah Johnson on Feb 17, 2015 11:10:29 AM

Blog_Pic-2Surveys play an important role in the healthcare industry today. While many healthcare leaders understand the importance of patient surveys, the survey cover letter is a crucial element that is often overlooked. Cover letters can be customized to maximize visual cues for the patient, encouraging completion of the survey as well as assessment of the correct experience in the event that the patient has had multiple recent patient visits. At Avatar, we offer customization options to increase recall in patients, support participation, and further extend your brand to the public.

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Topics: Patient Surveys, patient survey customization,, customizable patient satisfaction survey

A New “Generation” of ACOs to be Focusing on Patient Experience

Posted by Greg Hyman on Feb 12, 2015 7:00:00 AM

Healthcare_Female_Doctor_-_iStock_000009821358SmallAs value-based purchasing continues to expand into areas of healthcare beyond the inpatient setting, more organizations are exploring novel methods for delivering care with a focus on value. Never has this been more evident than when CMS recently announced that nearly 90 additional Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) have joined the Medicare Shared Savings Program. This brings the total number of ACOs to more than 420 nationwide.

According to the CMS website, ACOs are groups of healthcare providers, hospitals and other organizations who work together to provide Medicare beneficiaries with quality, coordinated care while reducing costs. So long as they meet established quality goals, ACOs share in the savings they generate for Medicare. In practice, the ACO model has inspired a diverse array of organizations from healthcare and related industries to establish partnerships to lower costs, improve care, and capture a portion of Medicare savings as revenue. From insurance companies to retail pharmacy chains, hospitals to physician groups, many are participating in the new model and have committed to demonstrating the level of value they are delivering to consumers.

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Topics: CAHPS Surveys, accountable care, accountable care organizations, aco cahps

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