How is it measured?
A standardized national survey called Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is mailed to randomly selected patients after they are discharged from the hospital. The HCAHPS survey provides an opportunity for patients to give feedback about the care that they received. Phone calls and mail surveys inquire about communications, discharge and the hospital’s environment as well as patient experience.
Patient responses are submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which publicly reports the annual results from all US hospitals online at Hospital Compare.
Oneida Healthcare monitors patient feedback survey results from HCAHPS to ensure patients and their families are experienceing exceptional care…always.
Examples of HCAHPS survey questions:
Patients have the choice of responding with “always”, “usually”, “sometimes” or “never”. The percentage of “always” responses are the only scores that are reported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- During this hospital stay, how often did nurses treat you with courtesy and respect?
- During this hospital stay, after you pressed the call button, how often did you get help as soon as you wanted it?
- Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for?
Hospital Re-Admissions – CMS Star Ratings
To make it easier for patients to understand the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey scores, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) developed a five-star rating system in 2015. Hospitals are given between one and five stars for 11 categories, as well as an overall summary. CMS calculates the number of stars by converting patient survey responses into scores.
The following represents Oneida Healthcare’s scores as reported on Hospital Compare. Click on the boxes below to view our score in each category.
Why are HCAHPS scores important to you?
HCAHPS surveys can be used as a measuring tool by patients to compare hospitals locally and nationally. Most of the questions asked in the survey relate to how well the medical care team communicates with the patient. Clear communication between patients and the medical care team is critical to managing health. For example: During discharge, patients need to clearly understand their discharge instructions so that they may manage their care correctly. By having a clear understanding, the patient can reduce the possibility of having to be readmitted at a later date.
What is Oneida Healthcare doing to continue to improve?
- Hush for Healing campaign – An organizational wide campaign to decrease the noise in patient areas. Studies show patients heal faster in environments with less noise.
- Improve Care Transitions – We are improving the discharge follow-up process for all inpatients, ICU, Ambulatory Surgery, and Endo patients. These efforts increase patient understanding of discharge instructions and decrease the probability of readmission.
- Partnering with Cipher Health – Cipher Health provides automated phone calls to every Emergency Room patient who is discharged to ensure they had a good patient experience, to check how they are feeling, confirm they understand instructions and medications; with the option to talk to live person with any concerns. This partnership is improving communication with Emergency Room patients and reducing return visits for the same condition.
- Increase access to medication instructions – A new initiative that provides patients with more defined instructions regarding prescribed medications and their potential side effects. Better patient communication of medications and their side effects has been proven to reduce readmission rates caused by mismanagement of prescribed medications.
- Develop Instruction Diagrams – We are implementing colored diagrams that pair images and information so that patients can have a clearer understanding of their care plan. This tool has improved patient to doctor communication.
How can patients make a difference and increase safety?
Having clear communication with your health team is essential. We understand that while at the hospital it can be stressful for patiens and families. Sometimes it may be difficult to know what questions to ask your healthcare team. Resources are available to patients to help them effectively communicate with their doctors. Being informed about your health, medications and also planning for your future care are important for maintaining good health.
Patients who want to learn more can visit the Doctella website to access checklists for surgeries and procedures: Click here
Examples of questions from checklists:
- How soon do you recommend that I have this surgery?
- Will I need anesthesia for this procedure?
- What are my options for pain medications after surgery?
For more information visit: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Hospital Compare