Tips for Improving and Promoting HCAHPS Scores in Healthcare Marketing
Instead of focusing on reimbursement in the measurement of patient satisfaction, healthcare marketers can use HCAHPS scores to attract new healthcare consumers with the satisfaction of your current ones.
The HCAHPS survey asks patients to answer questions about their experiences at the hospital. With these scores being tied to reimbursement rates, good scores are more important than ever. While the questions seem to deal with operational and clinical topics, marketing and communications experts can leverage their skills to help improve scores.
Healthcare marketers, as well as physicians, should be well-versed in the questions asked to patients in this survey. When you think about the questions asked, you need to consider how marketing can be involved to help improve the service itself or the perception of the service being surveyed.
Promote your top-rated doctors. This will get the attention of the remaining physicians and hopefully motivate them to achieve top ranking. Also be sure to provide reports of how your medical staff scores and ranks on the physician questions. Most physicians are very eager to know how they compare with their peers, which can be an enormously powerful and motivational strategy.
Give patients an opportunity to voice concerns prior to the survey. This will drastically improve how they perceive the delivery of service. If their concerns were voiced and properly acknowledged, patients are more likely to have a positive perception about their experience, which can counteract a negative one. As healthcare communications experts one of our jobs is to provide touch points for our patients to be able to voice their feedback and concerns.
Make sure your medical staff knows what questions they are being rated. But don’t overload them all at once. Feed the information to them in chunks. Consider posting the questions in the surgery or doctor’s lounge – anywhere they might be seen by a member of your medical staff.
Equip clinical and operation teams with communication paths to the patient. We’ve seen a lot of success in HCAHPS improvement with easy, no-brainer communication touch points, such as thank-you notes for patients signed by the department staff or CEO. Or in hospital communication about EVS services or the availability of a “quiet line” to request that the floor be quieted when it gets a little loud. Creating better processes and solutions only work if they are communicated to the patients and to the staff.
HCAHPS scores may not seem like a problem your department should tackle, but if you don’t, who will make sure communication is flowing as it should between patients and departments?
To view a sample HCAHPS survey, click here.
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Categorized in: Healthcare