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Hanan Aboumatar

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How to get high patient-satisfaction scores


Hanan Aboumatar, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins  and member of the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, says there are various ways for a hospital to get high scores in the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems  (HCAHPS).

She notes that such simple practices as proactive rounds by nurses and hospital leaders can have major positive effects on their patient-satisfaction scores.

She told Becker’s Hospital Review that most hospitals have prioritized patient experience  have taken different routes to get there, to varied results.

“People used different strategies,” she says. “There was no formula [and] some did better than others.”

However, the survey did find some things in common.

Becker’s reports that “One of the most-reported strategies from respondents involved their organization’s culture. A majority — 77 percent — of hospitals reported that a commitment to patients and their families is integrated into their culture, and they attributed their high patient safety scores in part to this mindset.”

“‘The organizations [that] are high-performing were ones [that] did not think of the patient experience as an add-on,”’ Dr. Aboumatar  told Becker’s “‘They thought of it as much more integral to the type of mission that they have. [It’s] what they’re all about.”‘

The importance of staff engagement  in improving patient experience also stood out to Dr. Aboumatar from the survey.

“The survey responses showed 83 percent of surveyed hospitals had proactive nurse rounds in place, and 62 percent reported that leaders from all levels of the organization also rounded on patients,” Becker’s reported.

“Some respondents indicated that leaders blocked out time in their calendars to round on patients and staff, asking patients how their stay is and asking staff what, if anything, they need to help them do their job to the best of their ability, according to Dr. Aboumatar.”


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