3 areas where hospitals can improve patient experience: Leapfrog

Many adult patients may not fully understand their care plans after they are discharged from the hospital, according to The Leapfrog Group's Patient Experience Report released July 8.

Leapfrog analyzed 2019-20 data that more than 3,500 hospitals voluntarily provided to CMS via the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. The organization calculated average "top box scores" — or the percentage of respondents who selected the most positive response for a survey question — across all reporting hospitals. 

Overall, about 71 percent of patients said they would definitely be willing to recommend the hospital to friends or family. Most patients also gave their hospital the highest rating for communication with physicians (80.2 percent) and nurses (79.7 percent).

However, Leapfrog identified three areas where hospitals could improve patient experience:

1. Care transitions. About 87 percent of patients gave their hospital top marks for the quality of discharge information. However, only 52 percent rated their hospital the same for providing information about their care transition once they left the hospital.

"Providing clear, understandable discharge information, like symptoms or health problems to keep an eye out for, can reduce the likelihood of a patient being readmitted to the hospital," Leapfrog said in the report.

2. Communication about medicines. Only 61 percent of patients gave their hospital the highest marks for communication about medicines, including how often staff explained the purpose of a new drug or warned about side effects. Improving this communication could help reduce or prevent medication errors, Leapfrog said. 

3. Pediatric care concerns. In pediatric settings, just 62 percent of parents or guardians said they felt comfortable reporting concerns to staff. Creating a safe, welcoming environment for patients to speak up can also help prevent or reduce harm from medical errors, the group added.

To view the full report, click here.

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