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Patient experience more of a priority for hospitals

Hospital pay tied to patient experience

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 4:03 PM
Last updated 9:54 PM
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Now that part of their pay is tied to patient satisfaction, hospitals are making it a priority, according to a recent survey. But many still devote few resources or senior leadership to improving patient experiences, one advocate said.

Dr. Jason Wolf, the president of The Beryl Institute, spoke Wednesday at the seventh annual Patient- and Family-Centered Care Conference hosted by Georgia Regents Health System. Because hospitals now have to report patient satisfaction scores on a federal survey and part of their reimbursement is tied to that, almost every hospital has said that patient- and family-centered care is important to them, Wolf said. Yet on his institute benchmarking report this year, “The State of Patient Experience,” the largest number handled this by a committee, with three or fewer people devoted to improving patient experiences.

“Saying it and doing it are two very different things, Wolf said. “If we believe finances are important for a health care system, we have a CFO. If we believe that human resources are important for a health care system, we have a chief human resources officer. If we believe that patients and families are important for a health care system, shouldn’t we have someone also that has an equal role in the strategy and direction of that entity?”

There are some encouraging signs, he said. Compared to its survey in 2011, this year the number of organizations that have a senior leader devoted to patient experiences or patient- and family-centered care doubled, Wolf said.

Some of this change will be driven by increasingly savvy consumers who are looking at patient satisfaction and quality scores, he said. A friend’s grandmother told Wolf that at her retirement community the seniors are sitting in the common room and “we’re Googling our doctors.”

The Medicare program is compiling patient satisfaction, quality and safety information on hospitals and making it available through its Hospital Compare Web site and people are using it, Wolf said, Part of this may be fueled by the Affordable Care Act as more and more people acquire insurance that they are paying for themselves and thus becoming more sensitive to price and quality in health care, he said.

“We’re at a place now in time, with the number of uninsured, even those that are insured, that are looking around for the best deal,” Wolf said. “We’re aware of premiums. We’re aware of what we pay to get care. I think what the next natural progression is, if I am paying somebody for that, I am also going to make sure that when I go to where I go, I am going to get the best quality as well.”

It also encourages providers who want to give patients good care leverage to be able to demand that from their organizations, he said.

“I think it is starting to change the nature of health care for the better for a lot of people,” Wolf said. “And I think it is reinvigorating and reigniting the passion that a lot of people had that brought them to this work in the first place.”

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itsanotherday1
39445
Points
itsanotherday1 10/09/13 - 07:18 pm
3
0
From anecdotal comments from

From anecdotal comments from friends of mine, MCG has a LONG way to go in the customer satisfaction dept.

giwi
101
Points
giwi 10/10/13 - 01:13 am
1
0
University Hospital

Unv. Hospital needs to look at its safety issues as well as their treatment of patients and their family members!

Just My Opinion
5203
Points
Just My Opinion 10/10/13 - 04:57 am
2
1
From my experience either as

From my experience either as a patient or family member/friend of a patient, I have observed that most places are simply short-staffed. NOTHING bothers me more than having to wait ridiculous amounts of time because the facility didn't staff enough people to take care of all they have to take care of. If someone calls for pain medicine, they want it as soon as possible...everyone knows that, including the nurse. However, I've seen the nurses having to prioritize themselves....have to help someone who has fallen, someone who is bleeding, someone who is nauseated, someone who has defecated, and it goes on. There's only so much a caregiver can do in the time they have. No, it can't be one on one care, but for one caregiver to be responsible for 6-10 patients is crazy...and not safe. I would say that, 90% of the time, staff is reduced because of money...and I think we all know that also. I would venture to say that there is PLENTY of upper-level and mid-level management all over the hospitals, but NONE of them do patient care, and at the bedside is THE ABSOLUTE PLACE where patients see/feel/hear/taste how they are experiencing their care!
It's sad how the nurses, the nursing assistants, the people who draw the patient's blood, even the housekeepers know this, but the administrators don't! I would also bet good money that patient satisfaction committees have been made up by all these administrators, with no nurses, or nursing assistants, etc on them! Now, how stupid is that?

vegasbaby
150
Points
vegasbaby 10/10/13 - 07:01 am
2
1
Do more with less...

So how much more can hospitals do with even less reimbursement? Cutting positions and hours is the easiest fix ... yet will eventually hurt the facility financially and potentially hurt the patient(customer) also... The "healthcare savings" that are often quoted in talking about the ACA are due to the cuts in reimbursement from Medicare to the hospitals and physicians... Not due to your personal healthcare cost savings. There will be a breaking point!

mosovich
733
Points
mosovich 10/10/13 - 07:04 am
2
2
Nail on the head..

JMO, your last paragraph hit the nail on the head and the sad thing, at least at University, is the administrators DON'T CARE.. Their only focus is on the bottom line.. No concern for their employees well being. i.e.: a nurse working a 12 hour shift and only getting a 15 min. lunch over that time period is a nurse who is not going to be able to function properly at the latter part of her shift.. A nurse being stretched so thin by being over loaded with patients equals a patient not getting the care they need and the nurse pulled so many ways, she/he can't give adequate care.. I know I wouldn't want to go the Univ. Hosp, I've seen it first hand and the administrators don't care, they only care about that bonus at the end of the year for them selves.. Univ. used to be the hospital of choice, but the current leadership is running it through the ground with their cut, cut, cut and the "hell with the employees moral" attitude.. Employees with bad moral equals a very dangerous situation..

soapy_725
43527
Points
soapy_725 10/10/13 - 08:26 am
0
0
Just ask to work midnights and you can take breaks all night.
Unpublished

Just ask to work midnights and you can take breaks all night.

soapy_725
43527
Points
soapy_725 10/10/13 - 08:27 am
0
0
soapy_725
43527
Points
soapy_725 10/10/13 - 08:28 am
0
0
Stay overnight with a relative. See what happens in the real wor
Unpublished

Stay overnight with a relative. See what happens in the real world of patient care.

Little Lamb
43537
Points
Little Lamb 10/10/13 - 08:39 am
0
0
Poor Experience

My experience at Doctors Hospital was extremely poor. That is why I will try someplace else in the future.

Fiat_Lux
14686
Points
Fiat_Lux 10/10/13 - 08:56 am
1
1
It's "morale", not moral.

I'm sure the University Hospital employees have morals that are at least as good as anywhere else in town. Their morale, however, can't be any worse than the morale everywhere at MCG/GHSU/GRU. Everybody there is angry and miserable, including the administrators who aren't busy kissing the hind parts of El Presidente and the nut jobs he imported to destr-, uh, lead some pretty big and vital areas.

Fiat_Lux
14686
Points
Fiat_Lux 10/10/13 - 12:48 pm
2
0
The only way to survive

the shortages now and the devastation just up the road is to have people there with you when you have to be in the hospital, even staying all night when things are serious.

I would never leave a family member alone and at the mercy of hospital staff. They honestly can't deal with all the needs and your child's pain generally doesn't stack up next to another child's inability to breathe or maintain his blood pressure.

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