The patient experience begins before an individual even thinks about going to the doctor or hospital, notes Laura Jacobs, executive vice president for GE Healthcare Camden Group, and patient satisfaction has moved beyond what is measured on surveys. As such, healthcare organizations should thoughtfully craft communications and care delivery strategies to meet rising consumer expectations and boost quality metrics. In this audio interview, Ms. Jacobs suggests how to better manage the consumer experience across the care spectrum and respond to the proliferation of consumer-generated healthcare data via apps and social media.
As groundwork for participation in CMS’s Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative, St. Vincent’s Health Partners (SVHP) formed a cross-functional cross-boundary Transitions Leadership Group to map what happens to patients moving along their care journeys, explains Colleen Swedberg, MSN, RN, CNL, director for care coordination and integration.
In this audio interview, Ms. Swedberg describes the structure and goals of the Transitions Leadership Group and some tools and protocols it developed to set standards for any post-acute provider wishing to join the SVHP network.
Given changing reimbursement incentives and collaborative models for physicians and hospitals, Greg Mertz, managing director of Physician Strategies Group, LLC, discusses why the Congressional proposal “Better Care, Lower Cost Act” of 2014 is financially more attractive to providers than ACO models and whether he thinks it will be passed. He also deconstructs CMS’ recently reported financial results for such health reform delivery initiatives as Medicare ACOs, Pioneer ACOs, and the Physician Group Practice demonstration, and weighs in on which, if any, model he considers the most sustainable.
With hospital readmission rates under close scrutiny by CMS, Torrance Memorial Health System launched a readmission program in early 2013 that has been recognized as a program of excellence for its innovation and impact on the community. Navigators work with patients prior to discharge from the hospital to educate them on the hospital’s Care Transitions program, which includes a network of Skilled Nursing Facilities, or SNF’s and one home health agency. And once the patient is discharged, ambulatory case managers keep watch on the patients after the 30-day penalty phase is over.
Spiritual support, in-room WIFI access, improved housekeeping and valet parking are just a few of the perks hospitals have added to boost patient satisfaction ratings. In this month’s healthcare benchmarks podcast, Melanie Matthews from the Healthcare Intelligence Network describes how 146 healthcare organizations rank their own efforts to improve patient satisfaction. She also shares key metrics from the 2011 survey on Improving Patient Satisfaction and Experience, including the most important aspect of the care delivery experience and preferred formats for patient surveys.
Patient satisfaction is an important driver of core measurement scores. Dr. Steven Berkowitz, president of SMB Consulting, shares his formula for achieving 100 percent performance on core measures and describes an incentive program for drivers of the quality measures.
Working with a network of 40 skilled nursing facilities to hone the hospital-to-SNF transfer of care has accomplished two goals for Summa Health System: readmissions and lengths of stay for patients released to SNFs have been reduced, and the experience has made hospitals and SNFs more accountable for both the quality and cost of care they provide. Carolyn Holder, manager of transitional care for Summa Health System, describes what had to happen before this critical care transition could improve and why physicians had to rethink their approach to hospital-to-SNF transfers.