Quick ways to improve patient satisfaction scores

By Marion Wells,2014-03-31 21:07
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Quick ways to improve patient satisfaction scores

    Scripting tool to improve HCAHPS ratings

    The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) hospital survey was launched in 2006 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to standardize patient satisfaction surveys across the nation.

    In addition, some facilities employ the services of a private customer satisfaction survey service. Whether this is Press Ganey, Gallup, or a homegrown satisfaction survey, your “last words” can have a positive effect on how patients or their families complete the survey.

    The questions asked by HCAHPS are available on its Web site. The private satisfaction survey should be available to you, but you may have to ask for it. If you are aware of the questions asked on the survey, you can speak to patients using language that they will be able to recognize when taking the survey. It’s almost like an open-book test.

If you know the survey asks, “How often did the nurses treat you with courtesy and

    respect?” then you know you must use phrases such as “I respect your right to refuse this medication, but I want to be sure you understand how important it is for you.” Knowing the questions allows you, at discharge, to summarize them in a short paragraph and try to “remind” patients and/or their families of the “right” answers. The figure below shows a

    selection of HCAHPS questions and some scripts related to each.

    HCAHPS Question Suggested Script

    How often did the nurse listen carefully “I hear what you are saying.”

    to you?

    “If I heard you correctly, you want …”

    After you pressed the call button, how “Mr. Jones, please don’t wait until your

    often did you get help as soon as you pain is severe. Call me as soon as it feels

    wanted it? like it’s reaching [level] so I can respond

    in time.”

    How often was the area around your “May I close your door so you will not be

    room quiet at night? disturbed by any noise?”

    Did the doctors or nurses talk with you “I’m concerned about how you will

    about whether you had the help you manage at home. Who is available to help

    needed when you left the hospital? you?”

    “I can ask the case manager to come in

    and talk with you about arranging to have

    some help when you get home if that is

    okay with you.”

    Regardless of the reason you are in the patient’s room (excluding emergency situations), one scripted phrase that will serve you well in most situations is simply asking the patient, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” Needless to say, when these words are spoken,

    they must be sincere and caring. All the scripting in the world cannot hide a poor attitude.

Source: Quick-E! Pro Scripting: A Guide for Nurses, ?2009 HCPro, Inc. To find out

    more about the book or to purchase a copy, visit


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