Demand Grows for Chief Patient Experience Officers

Demand for chief patient experience officers is spiking as hospitals aim to ace patient satisfaction scores under value-based purchasing, which will go into effect in October, according to a Crain' New York Business report.

The CPEO is the new executive "must-have," according to the report. These people work to ensure patients are satisfied with their experience and provide coaching to hospital staff on patient-provider communication.

The federal Value-Based Purchasing Program ties 30 percent of Medicare reimbursement performance on certain metrics from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems scores. The remaining 70 percent will be tied to quality in 12 core measure, such as pneumonia, heart attack and heart-failure care. In fiscal year 2013, the program will distribute an estimated $850 million to hospitals.

New York hospitals are especially feeling the pressure. Nationwide, an average of 70 percent of patients are likely to recommend a hospital. In New York, that figure is below average at 64 percent.

"The ability to effectively communicate as a team has become even more essential, both in terms of perception of care and real outcomes," Lorraine Ryan, senior vice president of legal, regulatory and professional affairs for the Greater New York Hospital Association, said in the report. The association offers member hospitals training to improve communications between providers and patients.

Sometimes communication training can be on something as simple as phrasing. At NYU Langone Medical Center, Chief Patient Experience Officer Nina Setia encourages staff to ask patients what questions they might have — not whether they have questions. She said more open-ended phrasing encourages more questions, according to the report.

More Articles on Patient Experience:

6 Elements of a True Patient Safety Culture
Study Suggests Hospitals Most Concerned With Meeting Patient Experience of Care Measures
Putting Employees First: How to Improve Patient Experience, Profitability

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