This New Jersey hospital improved HCAHPS scores with no new tech or renovations

RWJ Barnabas Health's Monmouth Medical Center launched a simple patient experience strategy in 2021 that is paying off in big ways, Asbury Park Press reported Oct. 4.

Early last year, the Long Branch, N.J.-based hospital created an eight-person clinical task force to address low HCAHPS scores. Rather than adopting new technology or planning major facility upgrades, the task force created a plan to help staff members brush up on their communication skills and bedside manner. 

Monmouth added afternoon patient rounding for nurses and physicians. All clinicians were coached to introduce themselves, make eye contact, listen to patients' questions and say "thank you" before exiting the room. 

Since rolling out the quality improvement project, the hospital has seen major increases in its HCAHPS scores for categories such as "doctors treat you with courtesy and respect," "doctors listen carefully to you" and "doctors explain in a way you understand."

"Having communication with patients helped to build a strong relationship with them, and that will help in turn with (patients') compliance, too," Raghu Tiperneni, MD, chief resident at Monmouth who worked on the project, told Asbury Park Press.

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