More and more health systems have been upping their efforts in recent years to improve patient experience across all parts of the care continuum, from patient outreach to primary care to inpatient settings and follow-up.
“Patient experience is a huge component of our culture,” said Evan Moh, senior data scientist in the patient experience department at Stanford Health Care, during a recent HIMSS20 Digital presentation.
Working hard to create an optimal experience for healthcare consumers is first and foremost just the right thing to do, of course. But there are benefits for health systems too – those providers that maintain high-standards for their patients will likely enjoy a competitive advantage over crosstown rivals that don’t.
There’s also the fact that “CMS requires that hospitals of a certain size do surveys on their patients, so they can post the results on their website so consumers can compare hospitals,” as Moh’s colleague, Carlos Montalvo pointed out.
“The results we get from these surveys impacts our Medicare reimbursement,” said Montalvo, manager of patient experience deployment at Stanford Health Care.
During the session, Stanford Health Care: Advancing Patient Experience Outcomes With Analytics, Montalvo and Moh showed how catering to patients has become a key strategic imperative at the sprawling Bay Area health system.
Given that patients have easy access to data to help them make choices about where they get care, Stanford has put in serious effort to make sure it offers them a positive experience wherever possible. But doing that is no easy task. The very notion of patient experience is somewhat abstract, and where it exists, there are many different factors that contribute to it.
In their session, Montalvo and Moh described how they used Press Ganey patient surveys, an enterprise data warehouse and data visualization tools from Tableau create dynamic dashboards that give actionable insights for leaders, clinicians and staff – ensure the needs of those disparate groups were integral to the development of specific satisfaction metrics. They also offered a live demo of the dashboard itself.
The process of gathering data about patient perceptions and finding a way to relay it to the parties that needed to hear it “helped us cultivate a culture of critical thinking,” said Montalvo, who noted that it encouraged clinicians and front line staff to think more creatively about how to solve complex patient experience and business challenges across the enterprise.
In designing and implementing these new and complex reporting strategies, he said, Stanford Health was able to better align executives’ strategies and empower clinicians to deliver good patient experience.
The goal was to get a “holistic view of the patient experience within a service line,” said Montalvo. “We put a huge emphasis on patient experience, no matter where a patient sees us in our system.”
The challenge, however, is that “we get surveys back every single day.” And with that much volume, “it becomes hard for people to dig into the data and understand what patient feedback is saying and how to improve.”
However, “we believe these conversations should be happening on a daily basis, in morning huddles, shift changes and staff meetings – just because the feedback is a gift,” he said. “But it’s not so easy to interpret what that feedback means when you’re getting back surveys every day over a long period of time.”
That’s where the analytics come in. In building the primary care dashboard to distill and communicate all that patient feedback, Stanford staff met with each department to find out what they wanted to see, said Moh. “We wanted to make sure that the insights we’re giving are really actionable.”
The hard work of developing a targeted and actionable and way to show key patient satisfaction metrics, has been a success.
“The connection between the qualitative comments and the actual scores has allowed our leaders and staff to pinpoint those areas of opportunity in a really dynamic way,” said Montalvo.
Now the goal is to build on those successes, he said. Stanford is working with its IT teams to determine the best way to share it more widely across the organization. The hope is to expand scope of the dashboard to include all service lines, enterprise-wide, and partner with various teams to further focus improvement interventions.
Mike Miliard is executive editor of Healthcare IT News
Email the writer: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media
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