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Time to ‘harmonize’ patient-experience measurement

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Using patient surveys to measure the patient-care experience is expanding rapidly in public reporting and value-based purchasing programs.  This piece on the HealthAffairs Web site notes that  the  Clinician and Group Survey (CG-CAHPS) “has become the national standard for assessing patient experience in ambulatory care practices. As its use becomes more widespread, practices are beginning to face multiple requirements to collect and report survey results using different versions of the survey.”

However, “{t}hese expanding requirements have led to increasing concerns regarding the cost and administrative burden to practices and clinicians, as well as growing response fatigue among patients and families. A consensus is now emerging that some kind of alignment or ‘harmonization’ of patient-experience measurement must take place in order to reduce survey burdens on both patients and practices alike.”

The authors write that alignment is needed in four major areas:

1. Survey Content

2. Survey Sampling

3. Survey Administration

4. Survey Reporting

They write that “the time has come for patient experience to become a fully integrated component of measuring and reporting on the performance of the healthcare system. Without transparency—and the requisite alignment—we will never realize the vision of a transformed healthcare system.”



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