HCAHPS Can’t be Your Only Measure of Patient Experience

Posted by Kristin Baird on October 25th, 2016 • No Comments »

I recently participated in a Roundtable hosted by The Beryl Institute. It was great to meet with patient experience professionals from around the Denver area and discuss some of their successes and challenges. One of the topics that surfaced was how to keep a finger on the pulse of progress.

Patient satisfaction surveys and HCAHPS scores are, of course, the most frequently cited metrics used by hospitals and health systems. While it’s essential to set goals and monitor progress using these scores, they cannot be the only measures. Why? Because they are lagging indicators and subject to patient recall.

Organizations committed to a “listen and learn” culture will be looking at far more than just the survey scores. Daily rounding data with service recovery information provides real time, actionable feedback. Mystery shopping (inpatient and outpatient) gives facts and feelings about the experiences that surveys cannot reveal.

It’s vital to keep in mind that the patient experience takes place in context of your organizational culture. Keeping a finger on the pulse of employee engagement will reveal important information about the people and the culture that is shaping the patient experience.

Think of your measurements as vital signs. A doctor or nurse doesn’t just look at a patient’s pulse to assess condition. He/she examines temperature, pulse, blood pressure and respirations for vital signs. It’s the combination of all these measures that help guide action. Your patient experience is no different.


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Baird Consulting

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