Hospital execs largely clueless about patient experience

Just caught the results of a study looking at patient experience in hospitals, and I’ve got to say, it doesn’t reflect well on hospital executives.

The study, by The Beryl Institute, concluded that execs rank patient experience as one of their top three priorities, coming in higher even than cost reduction.

Sure, that sounds nice. But as Beryl notes, these same execs have little idea of how to improve. In fact, 73 percent of the 790 execs surveyed don’t have a formal definition of a good patient experience — though they do consider noise reduction, discharge process/instructions and patient rounding to be key issues.

Honestly, I doubt they’d care this much if HCAHPS measurements weren’t just around the corner, poised to shave down reimbursement levels if hospitals don’t get on board.

Come on now, hospital leaders.  Just walk through a few units of your hospitals and try to imagine yourself staying there.  Do you think your patients feel comfortable, especially when they’re in shared rooms with little privacy and seldom informed about clinical decision making?  Do they feel like a cog in a big machine?  I dare you to work a shift with one of your nurses and see what patients feel day-to-day.

Improving patient experience is a nice goal, definitely, but you can’t do better than make vague stabs at the problems which affect your business, don’t even bother.


About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.


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