SOUTH BEND, Ind., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Measuring patient satisfaction scores is not just limited to the hospital setting. With more than 9,000 Medicare-certified home health agencies across the U.S., serving more than 3 million patients via 100 million home visits, at-home patients are an important part of the health care system.
According to Press Ganey's 2010 Home Care Pulse Report: Patient Perspectives on American Health Care, patient satisfaction with home care hit a five-year high in April 2009. During 2009, patient satisfaction with home care was highly rated, with monthly scores above 90 on a 100-point scale. The report is based on responses from 222,769 patients treated by 856 agencies in 2009.
"Measuring patient satisfaction is extremely important for the home care industry," said Lisa Cone-Swartz, vice president, satisfaction products, medical services, Press Ganey. "Beginning this month, all Medicare-certified home health agencies with more than 60 eligible patients annually will be required to submit reports from the Home Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey (HHCAHPS) to CMS in order to get their full reimbursement."
The Press Ganey report also identified the top reasons for satisfaction of home health care patients, ranking at-home nurses at the top and interaction with the office of the home care agencies at the bottom:
- Nurse services
- Overall experience
- Dealing with personal issues
- Arranging home health care
- Dealing with home care office
MetroWest HomeCare & Hospice in Framingham, Mass., recently worked with Press Ganey to improve patient satisfaction scores for its 300+ home care and hospice patients. MetroWest used Press Ganey's national database and Priority Index to focus on specific areas that were likely to have the greatest impact on patient satisfaction. This process helped identify one challenge that many home care patients face -- dealing with the office of home care agencies.
In this particular case, incoming phone calls were not easily directed, causing patients or family members to repeatedly explain the situation to employees. With Press Ganey's help, MetroWest was able to standardize phone greetings, voice mail and phone call triage procedures so that patient calls – to either a home care aide on a cell phone or receptionist at the office – were handled in a more consistent and efficient way.
These types of improvements, as well as employee engagement programs, helped MetroWest improve patient satisfaction scores from between the 35th-59th percentile to the 90th percentile.
"Given the growing pressure of health care cost containment, providing lower-cost home care versus long-term care facilities is a trend that will likely continue," said Cone-Swartz. "And finding ways to improve patient satisfaction at home can make the patient experience an even better one."
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 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 health agencies and other providers – including 50% of all U.S. hospitals. For more information, visit www.pressganey.com.
SOURCE Press Ganey Associates, Inc.