Good Patient Care Equals Good Business - New Report Shows Higher-Performing Hospitals Earn More Profits

Press Ganey's 2011 Pulse Report Provides Broad Look at Key Trends in Health Care

Nov 14, 2011, 15:31 ET from Press Ganey

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Nov. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Hospitals with high performance scores in patient care are more profitable, according to the 2011 Pulse Report from Press Ganey, which serves hospitals that represent 66% of U.S. hospital admissions. Analyzing public data on hospital profitability and the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey scores, the report found that the top 25% of U.S. hospitals with the highest scores on the HCAHPS question about performance were, on average, the most profitable and had the highest clinical scores. Taken together, the data suggest that excellence in patient experiences, clinical outcomes and financial profitability often occur together.

"Taking great care of patients is the best business model for hospitals," said Robert Draughon, CEO of Press Ganey. "Hospitals that are making performance on patient satisfaction and publicly reported clinical core measures a priority are proving to be the most successful."

Excellence in patient experiences, clinical outcomes and financial profitability often occur together, the report concludes, likely because "quality" is often structural or systematic. When an organization focuses on quality, it tends to do so in all areas.

The report also found that since the advent of public reporting of clinical and patient satisfaction data, hospital performance across the board has increased. Compliance rates with evidence-based standards of care have increased for most of the common causes of hospitalization, including heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care.

"With CMS' value-based purchasing (VBP) program – the first national pay-for-performance program – beginning its performance period on July 1 this year, hospitals are more focused than ever on understanding and improving their performance," Draughon said." As the largest HCAHPS and third- largest core measures vendor, we are helping hospitals develop and prioritize initiatives that will optimize performance and lead to higher quality outcomes."

For example, from the time voluntary public reporting began in 2006 to when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, the composite performance score for hospital performance on the heart failure measure set saw a significant increase. Overall, hospital ratings on the HCAHPS survey increased from 64% to just over 67% over the same time period, also indicating improved performance.

"The good news is that the mandates for public reporting of quality of care data continue to have a positive effect on quality improvements," Draughon said.

Press Ganey's report provides data and insights on a number of other key areas in health care, including the following topics and highlights:

  • Emergency department (ED) – Patients seen in the ED from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. report much higher satisfaction ratings than those that arrive at any other time.
  • Inpatient – Patients are more satisfied now than they were four years ago (a 2.25% increase in satisfaction scores for inpatients).
  • Outpatient – Women are generally more satisfied than men with their outpatient experiences, especially those 35-49.
  • Physicians – Doctors specializing in pathology, radiology, pediatrics and family medicine are the most satisfied (among 18 specialties evaluated).
  • Health care employees – The closer employees are to patients, the lower their workplace satisfaction and engagement, likely due to the higher stresses and responsibilities of patient care.
  • Medical practice – Medical oncology, cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology are the top medical practice specialties for patient satisfaction (among 25 specialties evaluated).
  • Home care – Nurses create the greatest amount of satisfaction among home care patients.

"Press Ganey provides a 360-degree view into the perspectives of those who will drive change at health care organizations – patients, physicians and employees," Draughon said. "This report includes a fraction of some of the important data and insights that can help improve the health care system."

The entire Press Ganey 2011 Pulse Report provides additional details, information and methodology. It is available at

Press Ganey Associates, Inc.

Recognized as a leader in performance improvement for 25 years, Press Ganey partners with more than 10,000 health care organizations worldwide to create and sustain high performing organizations, and, ultimately, improve the overall health care experience. The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of solutions to help clients operate efficiently, improve quality, increase market share and optimize reimbursement. Press Ganey works with clients from across the continuum of care – hospitals, medical practices, home care agencies and other providers – including 50% of all U.S. hospitals. For more information, visit

SOURCE Press Ganey