Embed HCAHPS into Departmental RoutinesIn order to establish a more patient-centric facility and improve HCAHPS scores, hospitals must adopt a culture of employee accountability in which employees feel responsible for organization-wide goals. The only way HCAHPS scores will really improve is through the combined efforts of employees who are committed to continuous performance improvement and patient satisfaction. Since employees are organized into departments, HCAHPS performance goals should be embedded into departmental routines. Here are three steps your hospital can take to embed HCAHPS initiatives into departmental routines:

1. Create a Service Excellence Council 

Hospital administration should form a service excellence council to enforce best practices of patient satisfaction. This committee would be dedicated to service excellence and, according to Custom Learning Systems, should consist of 60 percent management and 40 percent front-line workers to ensure all voices within the organization are heard. By establishing a service excellence council, the hospital is acknowledging the importance of providing exceptional service and reinforcing their dedication to high HCAHPS scores. By creating this committee of employees with common goals, you’re also developing service excellence leaders to reinforce their personal and professional values to their peers and subordinates throughout the organization. Susan Grady, owner of SM Grady Strategic Human Resources said: “Individuals need to see HCAHPS as something that is meaningful to them and important to their jobs.”

2. Host Monthly DOIT (daily ongoing improvement tactics) Meetings

Hospitals should create a forum for collaboration between front-line leaders and their managers by hosting monthly DOIT (daily ongoing improvement tactics) meetings. In these meetings, teams are able to share what they do to improve the patient experience and what they’ve learned about managing patient expectations. By creating an open discussion forum for employees, the entire hospital will be engaged in one common goal: improving the patient experience.

3. Monitor Scores by Associated Department

HCAHPS scores should be monitored closely by each department that is responsible for a specific survey outcome. For example, if your healthcare organization ranks poorly on quietness, it should be a key initiative for the nursing department to monitor their noise levels in the hallways. If cleanliness is a poor ranking area, it should be addressed by the facilities staff to ramp up their janitorial efforts. No single department of a hospital is responsible for HCAHPS scores, every employee contributes to the patient experience.  

In order to become a more patient-centric facility, hospitals must figure out how they can promote employee behaviors to positively affect patient satisfaction and HCAHPS scores. By promoting HCAHPS initiatives at the department level, employees will be held accountable for their department’s specific survey outcome. With all employees doing their part to increase patient satisfaction, employee accountability will increase and employees will feel responsible for the organization-wide goals of the hospital

Download our white paper Three Performance Management Best Practices to Increase HCAHPS Scores to hear from healthcare talent management experts about how performance management and employee goal setting can increase HCAHPS scores!

About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff is a team of writers with a passion for helping healthcare organizations manage their biggest and most important investment: their employees.