Patient Satisfaction, Medical Outcomes Must Go Together

Beyond keeping patients well, today's healthcare providers must keep them happy.

Today's healthcare providers and companies alike are facing a question they've never had to confront before: Are patients happy? Logically, practitioners have generally focused more on outcomes and quality of care, such as the rates of post-procedure complications, readmissions, and morbidity and mortality.

Now, more healthcare providers find themselves analyzing marketing and survey results, as issues like "net promoter scores" are becoming part and parcel of every practice. These issues have an added importance because, for the first time, they will affect a hospital's bottom line. Starting in FY2013, the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) set reimbursements based in part on a 32-question survey aimed at patient satisfaction, with a reduction in revenue of up to 1 percent and increasing up to 2 percent in FY2017 as more emphasis is placed on the survey results.

The CMS surveys ask the same questions the agency has asked for years: How well did nurses and doctors communicate? How clean was the facility? How well was your pain managed? How did they prepare you for leaving the hospital?

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Source: Information Week