Trends in patient experience scores: 5 takeaways

Data gained from HCAHPS scores over recent years indicate that the areas patients find most important to their overall experience are changing, according to a report published by Healthgrades.

Historically, there was a strong correlation between experience measures and the likelihood a patient would recommend a hospital and rate a facility nine or 10 out of 10.

Using HCAHPS data from the 2009 to 2014 Outstanding Patient Experience Award years, Healthgrades found the measures that relate to the overall satisfaction of patients is changing, and the overall correlations are declining in strength.

Highlighted below are some of the patient experience changes revealed by the Healthgrades report.

  • In 2009 and 2010, the likelihood a patient would recommend a hospital correlated with the "received help as soon as they wanted" measure, but in 2013 and 2014, their recommendations correlated with the "received information about care after discharge" measure.
  • In 2009 and 2010, patients who said their room was "always clean" were most likely to indicate an overall hospital rating of nine or 10. In 2013 and 2014, higher patient ratings correlated with the "doctors always communicated well" measure.
  • The correlation with the HCAHPS experience measures and a patient's likelihood of rating a hospital nine or 10 or recommending it was lower in rural areas then urban areas.
  • The difference in correlation strength suggests that in rural areas, aspects of experience captured by the HCAHPS survey are less related to a patient's overall experience and likelihood to recommend a hospital.
  • Patients at non-teaching hospitals value rooms that are "always" quiet at night and "always" clean more than patients at teaching hospitals, who value different aspects, including how well their pain was well controlled, how well staff explained medications and whether staff gave them information about care after discharge.

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