Patient Satisfaction

You’ll Receive High-Value Care…Or Your Money back?

As hospitals across the country increasingly focus on patient experience, one health system, as we’ve written about before here on The Hospital Leader, is really putting their money where their mouth is: they are offering patients direct refunds, no questions asked. An article in The Washington Post calls these refunds, “the most unexpected hospital billing development ever.” The article opens with, “At Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, hospital officials want to keep their customers happy.” Ok, I hear some of you already sharpening your pitchforks. You take care of PATIENTS, not CUSTOMERS. Agreed, but there is something that both of these titles have in common: underneath them are people. Real-life people, who care about how they are treated on a personal level and yes, they want the best possible medical care but they also would like their meal to be edible and their physicians to speak to them with respect,…

Money back Guarantee!

We’ve all seen hundreds of commercials of companies advertising products and services with a money back guarantee. The Men’s Warehouse, for example, has been guaranteeing to men across the globe for over a decade, “You’re going to like the way you look; I guarantee it!” But to date, no one has made such a “guarantee” in the healthcare industry. Buying a suit is not exactly like getting your gallbladder removed. Geisinger Health System President and CEO, Dr. David Feinberg, is doing just that. Their health care system has developed an application, called the Geisinger ProvenExperience, which can be downloaded onto a smartphone. After a procedure, a patient is given a code for the condition that was treated. With that code, they can enter any feedback they have on the services provided; and then they can request a refund if they are not fully satisfied. Most remarkably, the request for a…

A “Never Event” Happened to My Family Member. Don’t Let It Happen to You.

It is odd being on the other end of the doctor/patient interaction and having a surgeon calling me in the middle of the night apologizing for a mistake. I was scared and then I started to feel anger creeping in. How could this happen? Swiss cheese models and checklists danced in my brain. The analytical part of me was appreciative of the straight-forward manner the surgeon spoke to me, holding nothing back and owning up to the mistake, telling me the hospital would be investigating and assuring me that my family would incur no costs due to the error. He had performed an unnecessary abdominal surgery, a Never Event in the lexicon of patient safety. As you may know, Never Events are loosely defined as events that should never happen. The history of Never Events is rooted in the patient safety and quality revolution of the last two decades. In 1999 the Institute of Medicine produced…

CMS Just Paid for Advance Care Planning. But You’ll Still Make More Giving Injections.

I know the following may convey a lack of gratitude.  CMS funds a code, and by doing so, validates an activity for so long many in medicine have overlooked or dismissed.  Many specialists probably viewed end of life counseling as "stuff" those docs in the offices without the cherry finished cabinets dealt with.  You know. Trivial stuff.  Well, at least we can put that little contrivance to bed.  Amen. Cash is hard to come by these days and introducing a newly funded service risks cost overruns from overuse.  But if I had to guess how often practitioners will utilize these new E/Ms (99497 and 99498), my bet would be less than expected--and CMS can ease their fears that providers will back their Brink's truck in. (more…)

Improving Patient Satisfaction through Education, Feedback & Incentives

[caption id="attachment_12537" align="alignright" width="221"] Chart couresty of Kaiser Health News.[/caption] Patient satisfaction survey performance is becoming increasingly important for hospitals, as the ratings are being used by payers in pay-for-performance programs more and more (including the CMS Value Based Purchasing program). CMS also recently released their “Five-Star Quality Rating System” for hospitals, which publicly grades hospitals on 1-5 stars based on their patient satisfaction scores. Unfortunately, there is little literature to guide physicians on exactly HOW to improve patient satisfaction scores for themselves or their groups. A recent publication in the Journal of Hospital Medicine (JHM) found a feasible and effective intervention to improve patient satisfaction scores among trainees, the methodology of which could easily be applied to hospitalists. Dr. Gaurav Banka, a former internal medicine resident (and current cardiology fellow) at UCLA Hospital, was interviewed about his team’s recent publication in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, “Improving patient satisfaction…
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