Rather than turn hospitals into expensive resorts, healthier patients require happier nurses
In 2012, Medicare began to use the results of patient satisfaction surveys to calculate how much they would pay hospitals. They called it the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey—a short questionnaire asking patients what they thought of their stay—and used it to withhold up to 1.5% of revenue from hospitals that scored poorly. In an industry that survives off of razor-thin margins, hospitals heard the message loud and clear: protect your money by keeping patients happy.
Ever since, the healthcare system has been looking to the hospitality industry to learn how to improve the patient experience. Hotels may indeed have the answer, but hospitals are looking in all the wrong places. Many of them are focused on imitating the five-star experience, complete with butlers and spas. Instead, they should follow high-end hotels’ lead by fixing the dismal culture of the employees that patients see the most: nurses.
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