How HR and Recruiting Can Impact HCAHPS

February 28

As human resource and talent acquisition professionals, you have always been aware of the positive impact that a superior hire can have on your organization. But quantifying that positive impact has often been challenging to define.

And, if you work in a hospital organization, there is a tremendous incentive to recruit, engage and retain the highest performing employees given the recently implemented Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (more commonly known as HCAHPS).

Here’s some background on HCAHPS:

In 2002, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), along with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), formed the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).

Now that’s a lot of acronyms, but in a nutshell, HCAHPS provides:
· Data that is readily available to consumers so that they can make more informed choices in regard to their hospital care
· Financial incentives for hospitals who deliver quality patient care

The three broad goals of HCAHPS are:
· To produce data about patients’ perspectives of care that allow objective and meaningful comparisons of hospitals
· To provide public reporting of the results, creating new incentives for hospitals to improve their quality of care
· To enhance accountability in health care by increasing transparency of the quality of hospital care in return for the public investment

Since 2002, HCAHPS has consistently evolved, with over 2,500 hospitals reporting on patient-generated reviews, to almost 4,000 hospitals reporting data at the end of 2010. Over 2.5 million people have filled out these surveys. Why is this relevant? Because, as of this year, reimbursements are determined as a function of these consumer-driven scores, and only a score of 70 or higher positively impacts your hospital or system’s financial incentives.

And what is measured exactly via HCAHPS? There are 27 questions in eight primary categories:
· Cleanliness
· Quietness
· Discharge Information
· Pain Management
· Nurse Communication
· Physician Communication
· Medications Communication
· Staff Responsiveness

You will note…HCAHPS is not tied to clinical quality. It is tied, however, to how effectively your team responds to patient needs or how effectively they communicate.

So, as a leading human resources department, how are you engaged in ensuring that your hiring practices are mapped to achieving HCAHPS excellence? Are you at the proverbial “table,” with key internal stakeholders, defining how specific employee behaviors can positively impact HCAHPS scores?

There has never been a better time to be a true partner in helping your organization achieve the highest levels of consumer satisfaction, while simultaneously ensuring your hospital’s ongoing financial prosperity.

For more information on HCAHPS, visit:

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