Patient satisfaction is important to hospitals for numerous reasons. Healthcare professionals want their patients to feel taken care of while at their facility. If a hospital is known for quality care and patient satisfaction then more patients will choose that hospital over other local options. Beyond brand reputation issues, hospitals care about patient satisfaction scores because it could play a larger role in Medicare reimbursements and regulatory requirements.
Medicare is tying reimbursements to patient satisfaction scores through the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) which is publically posted. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rates healthcare organizations using patient satisfaction surveys through their program called HCAHPS. Hospitals could lose reimbursement money from Medicare, if they do not have strong patient satisfaction scores. A Hospital and Health Network article states that, Medicare is expected to add more than 20 million new patients in the next few years. High patient satisfaction surveys will be even more important in the future because a larger section of a hospital’s revenue quotient will be from Medicare patients; high patient satisfaction scores will be needed for the hospital to be financially successful.
If you are interested in more information on the changing health laws, please check out this blog article from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
What is the HCAHPS survey?
Since 2006, the HCAHPS set the national standard for patient satisfaction and allows consumers the opportunity to compare hospitals. The HCAHPS survey assesses 18 patient perspectives on care with the patient rating items that encompass eight key topics: communication with doctors, communication with nurses, responsiveness of hospital staff, pain management, communication about medicines, discharge information, cleanliness of the hospital environment, and quietness of the hospital environment. The survey also includes four screener questions and five demographic items, which are used to adjust the mix of patients across hospitals, for analytical purposes—the survey is 27 questions in length. More information can be found on the HCAHPS FAQ and an example of HCAHPS survey questions is located here.
How can Ekahau Wi-Fi-over-RFID™ (RTLS) help?
The picture above shows Ekahau Mobile Vision™ iPhone application as a caregiver accepts the staff alarm notification. Once the caregiver presses accept on the alert, their acceptance is captured in real-time and recorded in the Ekahau Vision™ software and can be used for workflow optimization.
Ekahau RTLS solutions offer automated workflows that give real-time location information to Hospital staff. Real-time location information using Ekahau Vision™ software ultimately improves patient satisfaction scores because it gives hospital administrators the metrics and business intelligence to improve workflow processes and reduce patient wait times.
The majority of the HCAHPS questions are directly related to communication and nurse rounding. Ekahau Vision™ can create customized automated rounding reminders and other messages using an Ekahau badge. The caregiver can confirm the task is complete using a button on the Ekahau badge which records the action complete in the Ekahau Vision™ software system and via mobile phone (Ekahau Mob
ile Vision™ application). The real-time location information from an action completion guides administrator’s to patient response time and rounding habits without having to burden the caregivers with hand written logs and human error.
Additionally, Ekahau Vision™ offers an open API which allows location information to be easily integrated into the hospital’s current nurse’s call system or other existing communication
systems. Ekahau’s versatility makes obtaining and using real-time location data simple and the platform can be connected with existing systems such as Cerner and Epic, and other HIS and HER systems to connect caregiver and patient interaction times and other workflows.
For more information on Ekahau RTLS integrations, read our case study from Joint Implants of Florida. Ekahau partnered with a third party to create improved scheduling and shorter wait times for an orthopedic clinic.