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PATIENT SATISFACTION: Academic medical center improves the patient experience

This is a case study of University of Utah Health Care, a four-hospital system that was created in 2004 by bringing together the School of Medicine and the University Hospitals and Clinics.  Radically different cultures hampered the ability of the organization to achieve top patient satisfaction scores until launch of an initiative in 2008.  Working on aligning culture was one of the first tasks of the Exceptional Patient Experience (EPE) initiative.  Among the other EPE activities were revision of the mission, vision, and values statements; value-based hiring, retention, and promotion; and, sharing physician-specific patient feedback data.  Besides the improvement in patient satisfaction scores, the system has seen a big drop in malpractice premium rates and an increase in employee satisfaction.

Source: Lee, V.S., Miller, T., Daniels, C., and others. (2016, Mar.). Creating the exceptional patient experience in one academic health system. Academic Medicine. 91(3), 338-344.  Click here for publisher’s website: http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Fulltext/2016/03000/Creating_the_Exceptional_Patient_Experience_in_One.25.aspx  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

Patient and Family Engagement Resource Compendium

A new resource compendium links users to key resources on patient and family engagement. The resources, each briefly described, are grouped into these categories:

  • Leadership
  • Organizational assessments
  • Patient and family advisory council/committee: resources for hospitals
  • Partnering to improve the quality of care
  • Engaging patients and families during the hospital stay
  • Health literacy: resources for providers
  • Health literacy: resources to help patients communicate with providers and manage medications
  • Health literacy: resources to help patients prevent adverse events in the hospital
  • Shared decision making
  • Engaging to reduce disparities

The compendium also explains how the resources can help in getting started with a new program or initiative, and it ends with a general bibliography of additional article references.

Patient and family engagement resource compendium. Health Research & Education Trust, Dec. 2015. http://www.hret-hen.org/topics/pfe/20160104-PFEcompendium.pdf

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

Consumer vs Traditional Ratings of Hospital Performance

Crowd-sourced consumer ratings of businesses have grown in popularity on the web, and the number of hospital ratings on these sites has been growing as well. How do sites such as Yelp compare to the more traditional hospital rating sources like HCAHPS? To answer that question, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, compared Yelp ratings of hospitals to the HCAHPS patient experience scores available on the Hospital Compare web site.

Surprisingly, the Yelp and HCAHPS overall scores had a high correlation. It’s recommended that hospital leaders check Yelp and similar sources to learn more about how raters view hospital performance and to consider their scores as another useful input for quality improvement planning.

Source: Bardach NS and others. The relationship between commercial website ratings and traditional hospital performance. Quality and Safety in Health Care, 22:194-202, Mar. 2013. http://qualitysafety.bmj.com/content/22/3/194.full.pdf+html

Update – Related resource: Aiello M. Stop ignoring online review and rating sites. HealthLeaders Media, Mar. 20, 2013.  http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/page-1/MAR-290324/Stop-Ignoring-Online-Review-and-Rating-Sites

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

“15-minute” emergency department guarantee

A number of providers are experimenting with “15 minutes or free” offers for urgent care visits.   Examples include:  Emerus Emergency Hospitals, freestanding emergency hospitals in Texas, which ran a promotion at the end of 2010 guaranteeing patients would be seen by a physician within 15 minutes of completing their paperwork — or there would be no charge for the visit.   At Northern Nevada Medical Center (Sparks, NV), the guarantee is to be seen by a nurse within 15 minutes of arrival.  Emory-Adventist Hospital (Smyrna, GA) has a twist on this idea that allows the hospital to schedule the arrival of urgent care patients by offering the guarantee to those who enter the system by first registering for an appointment on the hospital’s website.  There is a small charge for this “place holder” service, but then a guarantee of being seen quickly upon arrival at the facility. 

Source: Emergency care in ’15 minutes or it’s free.’  Houston Business Journal, Nov. 5, 2010.  Please also click on the underlined hospital names above to link to more information about their 15-minute offers.