Webinar Shares Best Practices for Patient Engagement

In a Sept. 15 webinar titled "Patient Experience: Measurable Strategies to Improve Efficiency, HCAHPS and Reimbursements," three healthcare leaders discussed proven methods to better engage, empower and satisfy patients.

 

Rob Gould, CEO of Banner Estrella Medical Center in Phoenix, Gary Foster, associate administrator at Banner Estrella, and Devin Gross, CEO of Emmi Solutions, emphasized the need for evidence-based approaches to address patient experience outcomes.

 

From many choices, only two measurably impact HCAHPS

Banner Estrella is among the nation's best in satisfying patients. The Phoenix-area community hospital ranks in HCAHPS' 90th percentile. To achieve these results, Banner Estrella has focused on data.

 

"We are always trying to figure out what's going to give us the most bang for our buck," says Mr. Gould, "If we can't see evidence that [an initiative] is making a difference to our patients, then we're really going to focus our attention on those [initiatives] where we know we are making an impact. The two things at our facility where we have seen the biggest impact and that have measured consistently to have elevated our scores are discharge phone calls and Emmi® programs."

 

Common at many institutions, post-discharge phone calls are a way for organizations to gather patient feedback and offer service recovery. Patients receive a call after their hospital stay, generally from a nurse, to discuss the hospital experience and answer any lingering questions. The program is proven to be effective, if time-consuming.

 

Emmi programs are interactive online tools designed to engage and inform patients about a specific procedure, condition or event (like a hospital stay). The programs are self-documenting to enable organizations to measure their impact to key quality metrics including HCAHPS.

 

Since implementing these interactive tools, Banner Estrella found a 17 percent improvement in its scores for "Rate your hospital experience" with their HCAHPS surveys. It also found a 10 percent improvement for "Would you recommend your hospital?" scores on the HCAHPS survey — an increase of eight points.

 

"A 17 percent improvement is absolutely huge in patient experience," says Mr. Gould. "That's moving us from the 90th percentile to the 99th percentile. Our hospital is absolutely booming. So many other facilities are seeing a slow down, and at ours, patients are absolutely preferring to come here."

 

Crafting a culture takes time

In addition to value-based approaches, Banner Estrella takes on the patient experience with a simple, unassailable strategy: kindness. And here achieving results takes the commitment of the entire organization.

 

When a Banner executive was hospitalized and discharged, she spoke to all the facilities within the system about Banner Estrella's attention to detail and the way it delivered care with a human touch.

 

"She said it was the little thing she noticed," says Mr. Gould. "How everyone smiled. How everyone greeted her. People were kinder than they needed to be... How one nurse gave her a back rub when she was in pain."

 

Mr. Foster says kindness is embedded in the hospital's culture, but also stressed the fact that cultural change doesn't happen overnight. "A CEO once said it takes three years for a facility to fully embrace an idea."

 

Mr. Gross says the approaches taken by Banner Estrella are more important now than ever. As the healthcare industry is emphasizing the need for population health management, organizations need to address both their culture and their toolbox to achieve goals and meet mandates. A higher degree of patient-self management is essential.

 

Says Mr. Gross, "to effectively do that, we need to engage and empower patients."

 

Learn more about Emmi Solutions and Banner Estrella.

 

Webinar recording

If you would like to watch a replay of "Patient Experience: Measurable Strategies to Improve Efficiency, HCAHPS and Reimbursements" and receive a copy of the presentation, please provide the information below. You will receive an email within 2-3 business days with links to a recording of the webinar (in wmv format) and a copy of the presentation (in pdf format). If you experience problems filling out this form, please email editorial@beckersasc.com.

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