Improving a hospital’s patient satisfaction HCAHPS scores is no easy task, and it can be especially challenging with government time frames and limited resources. Knowing what actions to take and what priorities to make are imperative for boosting HCAHPS scores. In order for hospitals to improve their scores, they need to recognize patient experience as one of the top priorities.
In 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced star ratings on Hospital Compare, to make it easier for patients to choose a hospital and understand the quality of care they can expect. The star ratings, which are based on data from HCAHPS scores, help build a healthcare system that delivers better care, spends money more wisely, and results in healthier, happier patients. While high-quality patient experience has always been an imperative for hospitals, it is a financial priority as well because CMS ties reimbursements to HCAHPS scores. With much-needed revenue at stake, hospitals need to find strategies to improve patient experience and boost their HCAHPS scores.
Take question number four of the HCAHPS survey, for example, which focuses on patient satisfaction. It reads, “During this hospital stay, after you pressed the call button, how often did you get help as soon as you wanted it?” When a hospital tackles the goal of improving patient satisfaction, it should give focus to a very basic and key component: communication. When it comes to communication with patients, something to look at is if the nurse call system is actually connected. How can patients communicate with their caregivers if their beds are rarely connected?
Hospitals spend over $30,000 on a new hospital bed, $5,000 on the nurse call system for the patient room, and pennies on the technology that connects the two. What is the point of spending so much money on technology when it is not properly used to its full potential? Most hospitals use cabling to connect their hospital beds to their nurse call systems, but most cables are not universally compatible with all hospital beds and many are poorly designed, which means nurse call systems are frequently not connected. Either way, caregivers will miss 100% of patient calls if their nurse call cable is broken or not connected. A solution to this problem is BlackJack- the only magnetic nurse call cable.
BlackJack cable is held to the nurse call port by magnets, making connecting and disconnecting a snap. BlackJack can render all nurse call systems and bed types universally compatible, so there is no excuse for not connecting them. The magnets always snap a connection in place, ensuring 100% connectivity, 100% of the time, which eliminates blaming call cables as an excuse for not answering a call.
Overall, effective communication results in a better patient experience, and hospitals that put value in a positive patient experience reap the benefits in more ways in one. Though improving HCAHPS scores is not easy, making the small change of ensuring that nurse call cables are always connected goes a long way in improving patient experience. BlackJack ensures connectivity, allowing hospitals to focus on other areas of improvement.