HCAHPS Focus: 3 Ways HR can Impact the “Always” Response

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by HealthcareSource, a leading provider of talent management solutions for health care.

Hospitals across the country are feeling the pressure to improve their Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey scores. The HCAHPS survey measures patients’ perspectives on short-term acute care facilities and impacts the level of reimbursement hospitals receive from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

This fall, healthcare organizations will begin to feel the financial burden of low HCAHPS scores. Critical HR functions, such as hiring and preventing turnover, are directly related to patient satisfaction. Therefore, HR has a direct impact on patient satisfaction scores and can take the lead when it comes to improving scores.

What is HR’s role in boosting HCAHPS scores?
A main focus area for HR is screening candidates and making sure they are truly the best fit for the organization – without bringing in the right people, it’s difficult to achieve competitive HCAHPS scores. Given this reality, hospitals need employees who understand the importance of patient centric care.

The HCAHPS survey questions requires a patient to answer “always, sometimes, usually or never” in response to 27 questions that focus on staff communication, quality of service and the hospital environment. In order to obtain a high score, organizations are seeking that “always” response as much as possible. Here are three ways HR can help boost HCAHPS scores:

1. Leverage Technology for Screening
HR can help their organization achieve more of that “always” response by recruiting the right talent for their organization through an effective screening process, which includes a scientifically validated hiring solution, such as behavioral assessment software, and a thorough background screening program.

HR should take advantage of this technology to create more efficient processes for managing their “paperwork”. That’s why it’s critical to choose a background screening provider that supports seamless integration with existing systems, like an application tracking system.

As HR tackles finding top talent for their healthcare organization, they shouldn’t be bogged down with administrative functions and a manual process that takes time away from important initiatives – like helping their healthcare organization “always” get that “always” response.

2. Listen to Your Employees
Not only is the role of HR to help select the right candidate, but it’s important for HR to offer support to employees. Employee satisfaction survey questions focus on a range of areas such as processes, leadership and resources. There are also questions based on the work employees perform and their engagement with co-workers.

After conducting an employee survey, it is essential to respond to the results and make changes that will help improve employee satisfaction. A quick response to the results will let employees know they are being heard. As a result, a more satisfying workplace leads to a more positive experience for the patients, and puts the organization one step closer to those “always” responses on the HCAHPS survey questions.

3. Measure Employee Performance
Once candidates have been hired, it is important to regularly use performance appraisals to ensure employees are consistent in their work. HR should utilize performance management software to better organize the management process and make it easier for employees to access the appraisals.

Performance management software helps automate the evaluation process, while saving HR valuable time. An online system is an easier and simpler way to get performance information to employees. Furthermore, the appraisals and feedback features in performance management software gives managers an opportunity to recognize outstanding employees.

By connecting employees with their goals and objectives, they can focus on improving their performance, which directly impacts the patients’ satisfaction, leading to higher HCAHPS scores and an “always” response.

Free Whitepaper: Healthcare HR and the Bottom Line – 5 Focus Areas for Improving HCAHPS Scores
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HealthcareSource, a leading provider of talent management solutions for health care, shares insights on improving HCAHPS scores.

Discover what HR needs to know about the survey, and review five areas where HR can develop initiatives to improve patient satisfaction and boost HCAHPS survey results.

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