Measures of Patient-Centered Care

Patient experience measures give valuable feedback on patients’ care experiences and provide insight on how responsive the health care organization or provider was to their individual needs and preferences. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is considered to be the gold standard of patient experience surveys for patients who were admitted to a hospital. The Medical Practice Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (MPCAHPS) is the gold standard of patient experience surveys for patients receiving care in outpatient settings, such as medical clinics.

Our patients’ experiences are important to us, so we continually monitor our performance through HCAHPS and MPCAHPS survey results. The HCAHPS survey is the first standardized publically reported measurement of patients’ perspectives of hospital care in the United States. In 2016, UAB Medicine became the firsthealth care provider in Alabama to commit to publically reporting its patient satisfaction scores for UAB Medicine providers on the Find a Provider section of the UAB Medicine website.

UAB Medicine uses information from both of these surveys to guide our efforts toward providing more patient-centered care throughout the organization. By presenting information about provider satisfaction through our Find a Provider online physician directory, we empower the public to make more informed decisions and demonstrate our commitment to transparency and accountability.

Most of the survey questions are asked and scored using a scale in which participants are given options to rate a service or provider’s performance from poor to very good. This type of rating scale is considered to be the most reliable way to measure individuals’ attitudes, opinions, and perceptions. All CAHPS scores (for both hospital and medical practice) are reported as “top box” scores, meaning that the scores for each measure are based on the percentage of responses in the highest possible category for the questions (Always, Very Good, 9 or 10 out of 10).

Patient-Centeredness Measures – Inpatient National Average Alabama Average UAB Hospital Comparison Analysis
HCAHPS: patients who gave their hospital a rating of 9 or 10 on a scale from 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest) 71% 72% 73%  
HCAHPS: patients who reported “yes” they would definitely recommend the hospital 69% 68% 79%  
HCAHPS: patients who reported that their nurses “always” communicated well 79% 79% 78%  
HCAHPS: patients who reported that their doctors “always” communicated well 79% 82% 81%  
HCAHPS: patients who reported that they “always” received help as soon as they wanted 66% 68% 57%  
HCAHPS: patients who reported that staff “always” explained about medicines before giving it to them 62% 63% 60%  
HCAHPS: patients who reported that their room and bathroom were “always” clean 72% 71% 57%  
HCAHPS: patients who reported that the area around their room was “always” quiet at night 62% 69% 63%  
HCAHPS: patients who reported that “yes” there were given information about what to do during their recovery at home 86% 86% 88%  
HCAHPS: patients who “strongly agree” they understood their care when they left the hospital 52% 52% 54%  

What is UAB medicine doing to improve?

Delivering an exceptional experience to our patients is a top priority at UAB Medicine. Some of the ways in which we are leading improvement toward this goal include:

  • Senior Leader Rounding
    • This is the term we use for when top leaders across the organization take time to intentionally visit with patients and staff to collect their feedback and ideas on what is working well and what we could do to improve.
    • UAB Medicine has a digital rounding app that allows leaders and staff to record information quickly and seamlessly. This gives us the ability to take action on the feedback received from patients more quickly, to improve the patient experience.
  • Patient and Family Advisory Council
    • his is a group of former and current patients (and family members of patients) who meet monthly to brainstorm and discuss ideas about how to improve care at UAB Medicine from a patient perspective. Their input was used to help design our primary care clinics at the Whitaker Clinic of UAB Hospital to be more patient-friendly.
  • Continuous Improvement Surveying
    • We use 12 different types of patient surveys across UAB Medicine to collect feedback on patient visits, to focus on multiple aspects of patient satisfaction in their care.
    • We use this feedback to improve processes, create training materials for our staff, and determine where to focus improvement efforts.
  • Using the voice of our patients and staff is key to developing our strategic initiatives. UAB Medicine is one of only a handful of health systems with a patient experience office devoted to promoting and acting on the feedback received from patients.

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