What hospitals need to improve patient experience: Real-time point of care data

Beyond HCAHPS: CXOs are looking for technology to offer better patient experience as a competitive differentiator.
By Mike Miliard
10:33 AM
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What hospitals need to improve patient experience: Real-time point of care data

At the HIMSS Patient Engagement and Experience Summit earlier this year, Adrienne Boissy, chief experience officer at the Cleveland Clinic, said hospitals have a lot of work to do when it comes to managing the patient experience.

"We have to design for what matters most – not just for our patients, but for our clinicians," said Boissy, to help create "not just a human experience, but humane. We must digitize moments that can be, and humanize moments that must be."

Increasingly hospitals are cognizant that developing better patient experience is essential – not just for the obvious quality and safety reasons, but as a key competitive differentiator. And they're learning that better and more easily accessible data is key to making that happen.

A new report from Chilmark Research polled a group of healthcare chief experience officers, chief quality officers and directors of patient experience. It found that they're under pressure to develop data models to capture patient experience data for quality performance scores, and are looking for real-time, rather than retrospective, data to help them adjust their care delivery as needed.

However, they are likely to need help putting this plan into action, according to the latest report from Chilmark Research.

All of the CXOs interviewed for the report say they collect patient experience data for the purposes of Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, or HCAHPS scores, but only a handful say they have technology at the point-of-care to collect experience data in real-time or near-real-time.

"Healthcare organizations recognize the importance of collecting data about the patient experience at the point of care, both to address issues that an individual patient might be facing and to identify problems within a department or business unit," said the report's author, Chilmark Research Analyst Brian Eastwood, in a statement.

"To get buy-in from executive leadership as well as front-line staff, CXOs need to align the use of point-of-care survey solutions with short- and long-term strategies for improving the overall patient experience, whether it means boosting HCAHPS scores, addressing operational challenges, or aligning with industry best practices."

When choosing point-of-care survey vendors – Chilmark lists Allen Technologies, Bivarus, Care Analytics, EveryPatient, HealthStream, Humm Systems, MyRounding, Mytonomy, Opinionmeter, Patient Wisdom Phreezia, Survey Monkey and Yorn – hospitals should pay close attention to the platform, its functionality and usability, said Eastwood.

For instance one basic functionality would allow providers to "mitigate a bad experience shortly after discharge, if not while a patient is admitted," he wrote. "More advanced analysis will aggregate these instances into a recommended action item for best practice or protocol improvement."

In addition, the report found that most CXOs are looking for platforms that are "extensible enough to be leveraged by as many inpatient and outpatient departments as possible," and that can integrate with electronic health records and business intelligence tools.

As for usability and UX, Eastwood said it's important that health systems be able to repeatedly test the system in clinical settings to get the best performance for their patients. He noted that such point-of-care technology is "meant to obtain insight from as many patients as possible. This means end users will come from all walks of life: Young and old, urban and rural, sick and well, high-income and low-income, tech-savvy and laggard, and so on.

"Continually testing the UX will help HCOs as well as vendors understand how different demographics respond to the survey – everything from the best workflow to the right style for the buttons to what colors get the highest response rate," he explained.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com