At a time when competition among hospitals is intensifying and patient satisfaction scores have never carried more weight, the CMS has developed a rating system that combines hospital scores on 11 publicly reported measures into one comprehensive rating of one to five stars.
For better or worse, patients can now view these patient-satisfaction ratings on the CMS Hospital Compare website and select a hospital based on this single HCAPHS metric. Interestingly, a first round of results shows that only 7 percent of the nation’s hospitals received a five-star rating. The majority—40 percent—received three stars.
While we understand then some administrators are concerned that an effort to boil down multiple performance measures into one rating oversimplifies the complexities of care, the fact remains that patients are more likely than ever to shop around for a hospital and these ratings will influence their decisions.
As hospitals look for ways to improve quality of care and raise HCAPHS survey scores, we’re reminded that patient safety goes hand in hand with patient satisfaction. Hospitals that look for ways to ensure the safety of both patients and caregivers, provide conditions that instill confidence and encourage healing, and continually focus on efforts to humanize the patient experience and preserve patient dignity will fare well in this more competitive environment.
“The vast majority of hospitals are working hard to provide the best possible care for all the right reasons,” says Steve Schmutzer, Director of Clinical Programs at Firefly Medical. “We’re working with them to supply transformative equipment that improves patient safety and operational efficiency, both of which are key to overall patient satisfaction.”