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Value Based Purchasing The Volunteers’ role in the Patient Experience. Mary Theobald Director, Patient & Guest Relations Volunteer Services. HCAHPS Overview. National Attention Our Call To Action. Measuring the Perception of Patients How do we do that?. HCAHPS

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value based purchasing the volunteers role in the patient experience

Value Based PurchasingThe Volunteers’ role in the Patient Experience

Mary Theobald

Director, Patient & Guest Relations

Volunteer Services

measuring the perception of patients how do we do that
Measuring the Perception of PatientsHow do we do that?


Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems

  • Produce comparable data for public reporting
  • Create incentives for hospitals to improve
  • Enhance public accountability and transparency

the survey process
The Survey Process

Send data (patient files) to Vendor

Surveys returned to Vendor

Surveys done by mail or phone

Surveys scanned and data entered into database

Patient completes survey

Data uploaded

Reports generated

hcahps dimensions
HCAHPS Dimensions
  • Eight HCAHPS dimensions included in VBP:
  • All HCAHPS dimensions weighted equally within the Patient Experience of Care (HCAHPS) domain
current survey questions
Current Survey Questions

The HCAHPS survey consists of 27 questions:

  • 16 evaluative questions about patient care:
    • 14 never/sometimes/usually/always.
    • 2 yes/no.
  • 2 global ratings:
    • 0-10 scale.
    • 4 point scale: Definitely No to Definitely Yes.
  • 4 screening questions.
  • 5 demographic questions (About You).
reporting based on top box
Reporting Based on “Top Box”
  • What is “top box”?
new hcahps voluntary questions
New: HCAHPS Voluntary Questions
  • Five new questions:
    • Three care transitions questions.
    • Two demographic questions.
  • Voluntary use beginning with July 1, 2012 discharges.
  • Mandatory use beginning with January 1, 2013 discharges.
new care transitions questions
New: Care Transitions Questions

Voluntary use beginning with July 1, 2012 discharges.

Mandatory use beginning with January 1, 2013 discharges.

new demographic questions
New: Demographic Questions

Not publicly reported

Evaluated as part of the patient-mix adjustment

performance and payment reductions how is my hospital evaluated
Performance and payment reductions: How is my hospital evaluated?
  • Achievement, Improvement and Consistency (30%)
    • Achievement pts gained when performance period score is above the Achievement Threshold
    • Improvement pts gained when hospital’s score improves from the baseline period to the performance period
    • Consistency pts gained when the hospital’s lowest HCAHPS score is above the Achievement Threshold
  • Your organization’s score = reimbursement
  • Schedule for further reduction in DRG payments:
hcahps vbp timelines
HCAHPS VBP Timelines

FY 2014

Performance Period

FY 2013

Performance Period

FY 2015

Performance Period

FY 2014

Baseline Period

FY 2013

Baseline Period

FY 2015







lack of communication is 1 complaint
Lack of Communication is #1 Complaint
  • Dr. was very busy with phone calls & could have listened to me a little better
  • I waited for treatment in the waiting room for hours. A lot of people came after me that were called 1st. There are exceptions but this is ridiculous!
  • The lady who took my blood never introduced herself to me, she poked me-missed then poked a second time. It hurt and she never said she was sorry.
  • The staff let us know that there was a 3 car accident & that they were having critical patients coming in so they would get to my son as soon as they could and apologized.
dvs begin communication with key players
DVS - Begin communication with key players
  • Begin conversations with your VP of nursing and ancillary departments to let them know you have a valuable resource that can enhance the patient’s experience
  • Find out what the current focus is for their departments
  • Very important that you align yourself with what other departments are doing
  • Ask to be a part of Patient Experience Committees
educate yourself
Educate Yourself
  • Ask for copies of the Patient Satisfaction surveys
  • Familiarize yourself with the questions
  • Ask for access and training to the vendor’s database
  • Search for comments related to the volunteers
  • Ask that a question pertaining to the volunteers be put on the survey
educate your volunteers
Educate Your Volunteers
  • Put together an In-service
    • Volunteers should be educated on the Patient Satisfaction surveys, the HCAHPS component and what it means to your hospital.
    • Go over each component of the survey with them.
    • Make sure they know that the data collected from patients is the patient’s perception of how their hospital stay was.
  • Invest in customer service and communication training
  • We all want to empower our volunteers, but make sure you have shared your ideas with your colleagues and get their “buy in” before your volunteers take the reign.
    • Example-If you want them to pay particular attention to the environment and would like the volunteer to make the call to EVS, make sure the director of EVS is agreeable to it as well as the director of the unit.
volunteers must
Volunteers Must….
  • Smile
  • Make eye contact
  • Greet patient with appropriate name and title
  • Actively listen to patient, repeating things back so they know you are paying attention
  • Demonstrate compassion
  • Demonstrate customer service standards set by the hospital
  • Ask if there is anything they can do for the patient when leaving the room or leaving for test or treatment
    • The volunteer that wants to tell their “stories” to the patient and/or unable to demonstrate your hospital’s core values should not be part of your team
volunteers are vital members of the caregiver team
Volunteers are vital members of the caregiver team
  • Volunteers personalize and humanize a patient’s hospitalization
  • Increase the numbers of volunteers on the frontline
    • Answering call lights and taking care of the non-clinical requests
    • Taking the needs of the family into consideration
    • Rounding on patients and writing something personal on the patient white board that they would want their care team to know

Roving comfort or caring carts

  • Concierge program
  • ASSIST Program
    • Arrange lodging
    • Companionship
    • Provide information about the area