Patient satisfaction is not an easy concept to define, but it is an indicator of the quality of the services provided. Patient satisfaction is a main area of focus for many, if not all, patient-centric hospitals. This isn’t surprising, as patients have assumed more of a consumer role in their healthcare -- meaning hospitals must now ensure their patients are satisfied with the care they received. The most common way to measure patient satisfaction is with the HCAHPS survey.
The HCAHPS survey has become a fundamental part of a patient’s visit to a hospital. The questions on the survey pertain to factors such as the care received from nurses, the hospital’s environment, and whether or not a patient would recommend the hospital to family and friends. Patient satisfaction determines the amount of money received from Medicare, and since the scores are public, they affect how a patient chooses a hospital. If a hospital provides a lower quality of care, they will be penalized. Since patient satisfaction holds the potential of big rewards and the risk of big penalties, it has an enormous impact on profitability, and has become a top priority for many hospitals. With revenue at stake, hospital leaders all over the country are looking for ways to improve patient experience, and in turn, boost their HCAHPS scores.
Many companies claim they have a way to increase a hospital’s HCAHPS scores. In our opinion, no one is actually making an impact. Patient satisfaction is determined by one thing: the patient. Even if a hospital smells like feet and serves bad food, if a patient watched his or her favorite movie, then they are more likely to disregard any negatives. If a patient is hungry or needs to use the bathroom and doesn’t get an answer after pressing the nurse call button 15 times, then he or she could attempt to stand up and risk falling. It’s little details that make all the difference. Details like providing a patient with a tablet for entertainment or ensuring the nurse call cable is plugged in.
No one wants to be stuck in a hospital bed, and providing a patient with entertainment helps the time pass faster. If you research tablets in a hospital, you will see patients holding the devices in their beds, which is simply unrealistic. It's unrealistic because tablets are often dropped, lost in the bedding, or in some cases, patients are too frail to hold a tablet on their own. At HatchMed, we have found a method to position tablets in hospital rooms with an orientation that is convenient for patients and out of the way for nurses. Our tablet mount locks to a hospital bed rail with a key, which eliminates the risk of the tablet being stolen or broken. With the tablets on the bed rail, patients don’t have to hold them, and nurses can lower the tablet with the bed rail if needed.
A top priority for patients is communication with hospital staff. Making sure a patient’s room is equipped with a durable nurse call cable that’s always connected permits effective communication with hospital staff and promotes patient safety. BlackJack is the only magnetic breakaway nurse call cable. Since it’s magnetic, damage to walls and nurse call systems are things of the past. It is easy to use, reduces patient falls, and ensures nurse call connectivity.
The bottom line? Patient satisfaction can make or break a hospital's success. Instead of focusing on minute problems, such as the squeakiness of the hospital floor, hospitals need to look at what really matters to patients -- communication and comfort. With a tablet in reach and constant communication with nurses (paired with adequate care from the hospital staff), patient satisfaction will skyrocket.