When it comes to boosting a hospital’s HCAHPS scores, there’s on adage worth remembering, happy employees help make patients happy. Judy Gracia, Vice President of HR at St. Tammany’s Parish Hospital has observed this saying to be true, “Happy employees result in happy patients and HCAHPS points go up.” In our newest white paper, we review 5 areas HR should focus on when it comes to improving HCAHPS scores. Employee satisfaction is a critical one. When healthcare organizations provide a satisfying and supportive workplace for employees, patients are more likely to have a positive in-hospital experience. HR can play an active role in evaluating employee satisfaction and identifying areas for improvement. One proven approach for improving employee satisfaction is to conduct regular employee surveys and then respond to the findings. Even if implementing a recommended change isn’t possible, employees appreciate knowing that their feedback has been considered and understanding why a change may not be feasible. 

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Another great way to gauge employee satisfaction is by engaging in employee rounding. Miranda Maynard, Employement Supervisor at EMH Healthcare, commented, “HR’s role is not only to select the right individuals, but to provide support to employees who care for patients.” Twice a year at EMH, the HR department conducts employee rounding on three different shifts. The HR team visits three campuses, speaks with the employees, asks and answers questions. 

An important part of achieving employee satisfaction and increasing HCAHPS scores is employee education. For HCAHPS-related goals, transparency and accessibility is imperative when it comes to gathering employee support and mobilizing efforts across departments. Daily email reminders with different patient scenarios and recommended reponses are a good way to provide HCAHPS related training. Additionally, “storytelling”, which Lisa Brock, the VP of HR at Overlake Hospital Medical Center spoke about during our employee accountablity webinar, is a great method of reinforcing the importance of HCAHPS. With storytelling, employees share their patient experiences with their departments, preferably on a weekly, if not daily, basis. The more stories employees share, the more accountable they feel to the organization, and storytelling helps educate everyone in the department on how to best serve patients.

What about education for HR? Perhaps HR should consider putting themselves in the shoes of the hospital staff. At Holy Cross Hospital, the HR department has been know to follow nurses on their rounds. By experiencing what the nurses experience when they’re explaining medication to patients, communicating with them at the time of discharge, and during all the most critical moments that are specifically rated by the HCAHPS survey, the HR department at Holy Cross Hospital has a better understanding of what scripts the nurses really need to help them communicate with patients.

Want to learn more about improving HCAHPS scores? Download our white paper entitled Healthcare HR and the Bottom Line: 5 Focus Areas for Improving 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.