How Technology Is Enhancing the Patient & Family Experience

Posted by Hannah Johnson on May 21, 2015 12:24:00 PM

iStock_000013372336SmallOne could argue that in some ways technology is damaging the manner in which people interact with one another. For example, my last blog post touched on the impersonal feel technology can introduce to communication in the workplace.

In healthcare, some leaders have faced similar challenges with implementation of EHR. Pressure to rapidly implement new technologies can require staff to engage with unfamiliar tools while trying to be present and attentive with the patient. As many have already remarked, there is a learning curve with the new tools.

However, some technological advancements are visibly improving exchanges and connections between hospital staff, patients, and their families. In this article, I discuss two tools being used in hospitals today and how they are enhancing the patient experience by keeping families informed and helping them to connect with care providers on a more personal level.

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Topics: patient satisfaction, patient experience

Benefits of an Employee Engagement Survey for the Already Engaged Population

Posted by Brian Ellis on May 19, 2015 4:13:00 PM

The annual survey is a prime opportunity for all employees to provide feedback related to overall job satisfaction and for organizations to measure levels of employee engagement.  With proper action planning, engagement levels can increase by upwards of 20-30% from the first survey cycle to the second.  But what happens with the annual survey when employees finally achieve the high level of engagement the organization wants?  Do you keep surveying them?

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Topics: employee engagement

What a Story Can Teach Us about Patient Safety . . . and Much More

Posted by David Miller on May 19, 2015 6:00:00 AM

As engagement advisors, my colleagues and I routinely partner with organizations whose leaders are striving to build a better patient experience or improve relations with employees. Every client has a story, and I am grateful to be in a position to witness their journeys firsthand.

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Topics: patient experience, patient safety

Different Ways to Show Employees Recognition

Posted by Hannah Johnson on May 12, 2015 11:07:56 AM


Employee recognition can build loyal and dedicated workers. Most employees, speaking as a longtime one myself, see and hear the words “thank you” multiple times throughout the day. Ending an email with “thank you” is proper workplace etiquette and many conversations end with a simple “thanks!” when receiving help from a coworker.

Yet, Avatar research shows that only 52% of employees feel their supervisor lets them know when they have done a good job. This indicates there may be an opportunity for organizations to improve the way they recognize employees.

By going just a little bit further in their efforts to thank employees, business leaders can give staff the confidence and recognition they’re looking for. Continue reading for different ways you can recognize employees and really make them feel exceptional.

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Topics: employee satisfaction survey, employee surveys

HCAHPS Star Ratings Launched

Posted by Greg Hyman on May 12, 2015 8:45:01 AM

star_ratings_2In April, CMS launched its HCAHPS Star Ratings on the Hospital Compare website, providing consumers with a quick and easy resource for assessing hospital quality. The current Star Ratings are based on HCAHPS results for patients discharged between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.

Not surprisingly, the launch has renewed public interest in the topic of patient experience of care. Internet searches for information about HCAHPS surveys reached an annual high in April, and many local news outlets have already published features on nearby hospitals' scores.

As compared with other survey data available on Hospital Compare, the more consumer-friendly Star Ratings are likely to increase the public's familiarity with hospitals' scores. Over the coming months, we may even find hospitals with high scores touting their Star Ratings on their websites, while low-scoring hospitals will take measures to control the narrative by highlighting patient testimonials, industry awards, and other credible tokens of quality, if they have not already done so.

The added transparency means that patient experience leaders will need to understand the Star Ratings, build the Ratings into their analytics toolkits, and take action to improve or maintain their Ratings over time. As a starting point, this article offers an overview of the methodology behind the Star Ratings, as well as how hospitals nationwide are currently performing.

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Topics: HCAHPS

How Healthcare Organizations Use Surveys to Improve Safety

Posted by Brian Ellis on May 5, 2015 2:26:00 PM

Safety is a priority in any industry, but for healthcare organizations the issue of safety takes on special urgency, as the lives of patients are literally at stake each and every day. 

To minimize harm to patients, many organizations work continuously to build and sustain a culture of safety, in which staff demonstrate visible commitment to safety and take proactive action to ensure it is maintained at all times.

Measuring aspects of the patient safety culture can be done in a variety of ways, by the patients themselves as well as staff.  Patient feedback can verify or reveal gaps in the safety of the care they receive, while staff can speak to important topics that patients might not be aware of, such as employees' level of comfort reporting safety issues.  Since opinions and observations of safety differ greatly, it is important to receive feedback from both groups – those administering the care, and those who are receiving it.

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Topics: patient safety

Good Managers Create Good People... But How?

Posted by Melissa Herrett on May 5, 2015 10:14:00 AM

It’s probably safe to assume that almost everyone has heard the phrase, “employees don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.” Even if you haven’t heard it, many people have unfortunately experienced it firsthand. Avatar Solutions’ research shows that over 1/3 of employees cite management as a reason they consider leaving their current jobs, which falls behind any of the other reasons cited.


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Topics: employee engagement

National CG-CAHPS Performance Trends 2015

Posted by Greg Hyman on May 1, 2015 8:06:48 AM

paper-surveyWhile not yet mandatory, CG-CAHPS has already begun having a profound impact on the healthcare industry. For early adopters, the availability of nationally standardized survey instruments and benchmarking data has allowed organizations to better understand how their service quality stacks up against competitors. This increase in awareness has placed pressure on both early adopters and holdouts to spend greater time contemplating and improving their patient experience.

As of this writing, public reporting of scores remains voluntary, though the number of practice sites contributing data to the national database has more than doubled since 2010. Drawing on the public data, analysts can observe trends that tell much about the effort groups are exerting to improve patient satisfaction, as well as the areas likely to pose challenges for groups once public reporting of CG-CAHPS scores becomes mandatory in the near future.

Here is a look at several key trends and data points from the National Database for CG-CAHPS Visit Version survey data.

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Topics: CG-CAHPS

Famous Employee Engagement Quotes (Vol. 1)

Posted by Hannah Johnson on Apr 28, 2015 12:02:00 PM

Powerful quotes can really resonate with people. For example, my aunt has the quote “You make the choice to be happy today” taped to her mirror as a daily reminder that she can shake the gloom of a bad day.

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Topics: employee satisfaction, employee engagement

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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Topics: patient satisfaction, patient satisfaction surveys

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