In their recent efforts to maximize value-based purchasing reimbursement, healthcare organizations nationwide have increasingly opted to use the standardized Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys to measure service quality and patient experience.
CAHPS is of great value as a standardized, national measure for rating and comparing the service delivered by hospitals and health systems, but many organizations are finding the instruments limited in their ability to provide deep, actionable insights into patient satisfaction.
As such, a growing number of organizations are choosing to partner with a survey vendor who can provide both CAHPS and custom patient satisfaction surveys. Those who do find that custom patient satisfaction surveys deliver the following key benefits:
- Your specific interests and goals are reflected. Want to know what patients think about the new cafeteria, or whether changes to the phone tree have family members crying out in frustration? Changes to publically reported CAHPS surveys aren’t permitted, leaving many organizations scratching their heads over service questions they would like answered. Custom patient satisfaction surveys can not only capture information on topics central to the patient experience, but also on those of secondary and tertiary interest, like the new cafeteria.
- Truly custom surveys can follow the individual patient experience. A fully customizable patient survey capability can allow your organization to send a survey reflecting an individual patient’s journey – asking questions about the services they utilized, the departments to which they were exposed, and even their medical condition. By using a custom patient satisfaction survey, your organization can thus capture granular information on patient satisfaction at the department, unit, and service level so that improvement initiatives can be focused appropriately.
- Maximize cost-efficiency and data accuracy. When vendors offering “cookie-cutter” patient surveys promise to capture granular data on specific service lines or medical conditions, the outcomes for the client are seldom stellar. In a typical scenario, the desired service line question is added to the survey – say, a question about the cardiology service – and patients who received treatment related to acute asthma or diabetes accidentally respond. Or, perhaps worse, patients don’t finish the survey because it’s too long! Utilizing a truly custom patient satisfaction survey prevents these issues, optimizing project cost-efficiency and the accuracy of your survey data.
- Custom surveys support positive value-based purchasing (VBP) outcomes. While many healthcare organizations participate in the CAHPS programs in an effort to maximize their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, many also feel that CAHPS surveys don’t provide a realistic framework for achieving the improvement required for optimal reimbursement. For this level of improvement, deeper insight into what the barriers to satisfaction are and wherethey occur may be required. By capturing patient experience data at the organization, department, unit, and potentially even the provider level, organizations are able to develop interventions that address specific issues and direct resources where they are needed most.
These are just a few of the reasons so many hospitals, health systems, and provider networks opt to utilize a custom patient satisfaction survey in conjunction with their CAHPS surveys. For these organizations, the level of detail and ROI garnered through a combination approach to surveying patients simply cannot be matched by any standardized or “cookie-cutter” patient survey used on its own. As additional CAHPS surveys are developed and launched, even more organizations are likely to adopt this proven strategy.