Patient-Centered Excellence Consulting

Dedicated to performance improvement, our healthcare consultants help clinics, hospitals, and health systems nationwide pursue excellence. We practice what we preach. Just like your organization, the success of our consulting business rests in the hands of our customers. We pride ourselves on providing cost effective solutions that exceed client expectations.

 

CGCAHPS* Survey

While the clinic survey is similar to the hospital survey, the actual domains are different, related to the care environment differences. The CGCAHPS domains and scales are as follows:

Overall Provider Rating
Rating 0-10

Access to Care
Never, Sometimes, Usually, or Always

Follow-up on Test Results
Yes or No

How Well Doctors Communicate with Patients
No, Yes - Somewhat, or Yes - Definitely

Courtesy and Helpfulness of Office Staff
No, Yes - Somewhat, or Yes - Definitely

* Clinician & Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems

   
 

Improving patient satisfaction will result in:

  • Substantial improvement in CGCAHPS survey results for the professional and for the practice group
  • Increased patient referrals based upon positive community perception
  • Increased workforce satisfaction, which means less office staff turnover

During the past decade, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began profiling patient experience results in hospitals using the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey.

As a result, hospitals have focused upon their opportunities for service-driven improvement organizationally and have adopted best practice strategies including hourly rounding, use of clear and timely patient explanations of care processes, and post-discharge calls. The next step is here.

The Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CGCAHPS) survey is now in use, and patient scores will soon be publicly profiled for other patients to use to make informed choices about their health care provider. Results of this patient experience survey, as well as Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) data, are available on Physician Compare.

To maximize your performance results, the following practices are highly recommended and have proven results in organizations across the country:

 

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See your practice through your patient's eyes.

Obtain feedback from your current patients on how you're performing in relation to the CG-CAHPS criteria and other similar areas of patient experience. Use this information to make focused changes before your current and future patients are steered to other providers.

  • Use an objective observer (like us) to give you direct feedback on what you're doing right and where your unknown behaviors may be sending unwelcome messages.
  • Sign up for the CGCAHPS survey for your practice or clinic. In this way, you will receive early information on the results and can make course corrections before unfavorable data is publicly reported.
  • Engage your patients in honest feedback sessions or focus groups. Select a group of 10-12 patients in varied age groups. The inclusion of 18-45 year olds as a key representative group in future patient volume is recommended. It's best to use an impartial facilitator for this activity.

 

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Enable and encourage patient information access.

Access to information so patients can become partners in their health care decisions is not only the best way to deliver safe, effective care, but it's also the way to most satisfy your patients and their loved ones. If you don't already provide information in the following areas, you might seriously consider doing so in the near future.

  • Provide a Patient Record Portal where patients can view their lab results, a recent visit summary, make appointments, find accurate answers to health-related questions, and even leave a question for their provider.
  • Provide linked access to state-approved forms for health care directives and decision-making authorization.
  • Provide reminders of recommended immunization and health care screening activities consistent with PQRS guidelines.
  • Provide a guide that explains how your office or clinic operates which includes how to get assistance with referrals, hospitalization records, and outpatient services/testing.

 

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Individualize your patient's care.

You know that every patient's needs are unique, but your patients may not realize that unless you make the point a clear distinction.

  • Create a positive first impression. Knock on the door, pause for 2 seconds, smile on entering, introduce yourself, and shake the patient's hand. Sit and maintain eye contact. Use consistent, conversational opening comments - not questions with yes or no answers.
  • Tell new patients about your training and experience to build their confidence in your abilities to help them. It's OK to shine in their eyes.
  • Allow the patient's major health concerns to drive the agenda of the visit.
  • Let the patient speak without interruptions as much as possible. Show empathy.
  • Provide the patient with information about themselves/their health as part of the visit. Doing so greatly increases the value that they perceive in the visit. Describe the findings from your physical exam while you are conducting the exam.
  • Explain the diagnosis and treatment plan with a simple explanation. Ask the patient about their understanding, and then ask them to describe it back to you. This provides the opportunity for you to verify and clarify their understanding as needed.
  • Establish a collaborative plan. Solicit the patient's input into the health care decisions that must be made, and ensure that they understand their role in the action steps. The key to successful perception is a collaborative relationship.
  • Establish closure and next steps at the end of the visit. Specify when you will need to see them again, and ideally make the appointment before they leave. End with a handshake or a personal farewell greeting.

Take the Next Step

If you truly focus on improving in these areas, including evaluation of the patient's interaction with your office staff, you will be well on the way to creating stellar patient experiences that will grow your practice by referral and reputation in the community! Let us be your partner in evaluating where your practice currently is positioned in the eyes of your customers and determining a plan for your excellence. We can conduct professional shadowing experiences with registered nurse observers in the office, clinic, or hospital setting. Our healthcare consultants can also facilitate focus groups, develop patient guides, and analyze results from your interventions to show your progress along the way. Begin achieving your excellence. Call 715-828-7390 today.

Society of Participatory Medicine

Clinic Excellence
Process and Services

An experienced RN observes a physician's interaction with a patient during a visit to determine where service can be improved and how it may impact CGCAHPS scores. Observations are consistent with CGCAHPS categories as well as items recognized as key to service excellence in a clinic setting. In this way, the assessment is not only reactive to the current survey method, but is proactive to potential future areas impacting the patient experience.

An informal summary of findings is shared with the physician after the observation period. A formal report with a prioritized action plan is provided within the following week for the health care provider. Coaching services are available to help implement the action plan.


Single health care professional: Observe a minimum of 10 patient encounters of a single professional, develop a summary of findings, and recommend an action plan.

Group of health care professionals: Observe up to five members of the same practice group (a minimum of 10 patient encounters per professional), develop an individual and group report, and recommend an action plan. Additional groups (five professionals each) qualify for a 10% discount.

Action plan coaching: Meet individually with the health care professional or with a practice group to share the results of the findings and set specific actions and targets for improvement. Once the plan is accepted by the individual or group, we will establish a mechanism for follow-up verification and results check-in. Coaching and feedback is typically provided over a period of 30-90 days.

Contact us for a specific quote.