A cleareyed debut guide to improving patient satisfaction, based on widely used health care surveys.
In this compact book, physician Dorrah illuminates the differences between good clinicians, who may be experts in their fields and have excellent diagnostic skills, and good providers, who listen to their patients and encourage them to comply with their treatment. Affordable Care Act restructuring, she says, had led to hospitals and physicians having to contend with two major patient satisfaction surveys: H-CAHPS, which assesses the hospital as a whole, and CG-CAHPS, which focuses on the outpatient experiences and care of Medicaid and Medicare patients. Increasingly, the level of patient satisfaction helps dictate the level of federal hospital reimbursement, with low-scoring centers and doctors receiving less money—a system that gives hospitals an incentive to improve without giving them specific means to do so. To that end, Dorrah offers this book of advice. She devotes chapters to each survey and breaks down their questions, providing succinct advice and best practices for improving care. Each survey question comes with a list of specific tips to directly address patient concerns. (Some of the survey questions overlap, so the book sometimes repeats recommendations and scripted responses.) Although the advice focuses specifically on these two surveys, it could generally help any health care provider; for example, she urges health care teams to have “huddles” to determine how doctors, nurses and receptionists can improve aspects of patient visits, such as wait times and front-desk etiquette. Given the increased use of computerized records and medical charts, Dorrah also examines the impact of technology on face-to-face care. Overall, the author uses a conversational tone to encourage doctors to build rapport with their patients, and her enthusiasm for compassionate care comes across in her upbeat, common-sense tips.
A useful companion for doctors looking to improve patients’ experiences.