Defining HCAHPS and its Effect on the Patient Experience
HCAHPS defined is the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Survey. A nationally standardized survey developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality for measuring how patients perceive the care they receive in hospitals.
While the HCAHPS survey specifically asks about communication from doctors and nurses, we all know that patients take their entire experience into account when completing the survey. It is imperative that all employees, regardless of job title, realize this and recognize that every interaction with patients and families provides an opportunity to give a positive, or negative, impression that can be reflected on HCAHPS surveys.
With that in mind, CHAMPS Patient Experience consultants recommend the adoption of the empathetic communication techniques to create warm, welcoming environments for patients and families. For example:
- Always display positive body language and use a positive tone of voice.
- Take ownership of patient concerns and always do what you can to help.
- Speak clearly. Use plain language.
- Use the person’s preferred name. If you don’t know, ask.
- In conversations, give your full attention. Maintain comfortable eye contact. Avoid distractions.
- Pay attention to and acknowledge the person’s emotions. Don’t judge.
- When needed, apologize without accepting responsibility or blaming others.
- Express gratitude by saying, “thank you.”
By adopting these techniques, every employee can positively impact the patient experience. Contact us to learn how CHAMPS’ trainings can help you create a more patient-centered culture that may reflect higher HCAHPS at your hospital.