Measuring Improvements on Patient Satisfaction

Posted by Brian Ellis on Apr 23, 2015 2:06:00 PM

Improving patient satisfaction is a pertinent goal for any healthcare organization.  Not only are satisfied patients more likely to return when they need medical care, but they are also more likely to recommend the hospital or clinic to their friends and colleagues.  In addition, patient satisfaction scores are already tied to Medicare reimbursement for a number of care settings, and this payment model will be expanded to other settings in the future.  All in all, patient satisfaction is a win-win for the healthcare industry as a whole.

But how exactly is patient satisfaction measured and more importantly, how do you improve it?

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Tips for Saving Money When Administering HCAHPS

Posted by Melissa Herrett on Apr 21, 2015 4:02:18 PM

It’s no secret that administering HCAHPS surveys can be an expensive endeavor. Depending on how you choose to sample, what administration mode you select, and various other factors, the project cost can add up fast. However, when approached with care, a tailored HCAHPS program can provide valuable insights into patients' perspectives regarding the services you provide, while remaining within budget.


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Why the Traditional Model of Employee Engagement Doesn't Work

Posted by Greg Hyman on Apr 16, 2015 8:04:13 AM

There is nothing particularly controversial in reflecting that many employee engagement initiatives fail to meet expectations. Every week, it seems, one business news site or other publishes the latest in the long train of articles claiming to hold the key to leaders' talent management struggles. More often than not, if they're not rehashing the same old, tired platitudes, they're describing a new social technology that will finally unlock engagement among the most disgruntled employees.

Behind their sales angles and pop wisdom, those articles share a few simple themes – namely, that disengagement is pervasive, that it has a meaningful impact on all organizations at one time or another, and that effective solutions often elude even seasoned business leaders. But if the complex engagement tools and costly services the articles espouse aren't the answer, then what is? 

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Practices for Supporting "Shared Decision Making"

Posted by Brian Ellis on Apr 14, 2015 12:42:00 PM

Shared decision making in healthcare has been around for many years but has recently gained extra traction with the institution of the Affordable Care Act, which specifically encourages the practice. The concept typically involves developing a trusting partnership based on sharing information about health maintenance and treatment options, potential consequences of each option, and making decisions together that are in the best interest of the patient. 

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Top Reasons Why Employees Resign: Pt 2

Posted by Greg Hyman on Apr 9, 2015 2:24:22 PM

In our previous blog article ("Top Reasons Why Employees Resign: Pt 1"), we discussed two of the most prevalent issues driving turnover at companies nationwide – dissatisfaction with pay and management. In this article, we continue the discussion, with an exploration of the next most frequently cited drivers.

While somewhat less pervasive throughout the workforce overall, dissatisfaction with benefits and career advancement play a major role in employee churn nationwide, particularly among certain demographic segments. Employee surveys can provide key insights into why certain demographics and work groups within your company are at greater risk of attrition, as well as how to address this risk. Just as important, regular discussions with employees about what engages them in their jobs and what hinders them should be part of every manager's toolkit.

Before you begin those conversations, let's take a closer look at how dissatisfaction with benefits and career advancement may be tempting employees away from your company:

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Top Reasons Why Employees Resign: Pt 1

Posted by Hannah Johnson on Apr 7, 2015 3:09:00 PM

iStock_000022796296XXLargeStaff turnaround is a problem that nearly every organization and manager faces at one time or another. In fact, according to research by Avatar Solutions, in 2014 alone, 65% of employed workers said they had given serious thought to resigning within the last six months. Yet, attrition is not only pervasive – it’s also damaging. It costs companies money, time, and can even harm reputation if upset employees vocalize their frustration publicly.

Avatar's research has shown that most employees resign for one of several reasons. The good news here is that many of these resignations are actually preventable.

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Five Practices for Improving HCAHPS Scores

Posted by Greg Hyman on Apr 2, 2015 8:51:53 AM



Hospitals and health systems face enormous challenges as they work to maximize reimbursement under CMS's value-based purchasing program. For many hospitals, particularly those operating independently and with limited financial resources, the organizational barriers to achieving improvement can be great. Equally daunting is the continuous rise in the achievement threshold as scores on each HCAHPS dimension improve nationwide. This presents patient experience leaders with a moving target as they work to improve performance.

To surmount these challenges, healthcare leaders must draw on insights and practices from peers who have achieved meaningful improvement under similar circumstances. Whether sourced from academic literature, case studies developed by quasi-governmental agencies, or articles published by a trusted HCAHPS survey vendor, the key is to identify proven best practices, map out a plan for implementation, periodically assess performance, and adjust the plan as needed. 

To get you started, here are several proven best practices for improving HCAHPS survey scores, recommendations for assessing and comparing performance, and methods for identifying additional approaches:

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Three Tips for Teaching Physician Empathy

Posted by Melissa Herrett on Mar 31, 2015 4:07:31 PM

Think about how you feel when you enter a doctor’s office. If you’re like most people, you’re slightly anxious. What if your sore throat or upset stomach turns out to be something much worse? After all, how many stories have you heard about individuals who have gone to the doctor’s office for a routine checkup and the next thing you know they’re in the hospital?

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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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