Through CAHPS surveys, healthcare organizations can get a feel for whether their healthcare experiences are accomplishing their goals (i.e. Helping a patient schedule an appointment or speeding up the check in process). But they can also unlock additional insights that help them understand if their ecosystem of omnichannel experiences is actually living up to patient expectations.
Laying a Foundation for CAHPS and Patient Satisfaction Improvement
In order for CAHPS patient data to help drive initiatives that will support long-term patient satisfaction improvement, healthcare organizations need to make sure they have cultivated an environment conducive to sustaining quality of care improvements. This starts with alignment between the quality assurance team, patient experience team and leadership, but it also requires alignment with many other departments to get right—including marketing, IT, employee experience, and clinical care teams. Direct customer communication and easy-to-use digital tools are the center of any patient experience, but it’s how each of these individual resources come together over the course of the entire customer journey that creates a truly satisfying one.
Using CAHPS to Inform Better Care Strategies
Once you have the right team in place to track and implement patient satisfaction initiatives, it’s time to turn to the data itself. At a high level, here are three quick strategies providers can use to make sure they are maximizing the insights they collect from their survey data.
1. Compare your CAHPS scores to competitors
Without a benchmark to judge your results against, it can be difficult to know what good or bad satisfaction ratings look like. During this phase of your research, look for two things: (1) opportunities to increase your competitive advantage by doubling down on areas of strength and (2) areas where improvements should be made to close the gap with higher performing competitors.
2. Look for signs of improvement over time
If your CAHPS scores are responding positively to new patient experience initiatives, you’re on the right track. But if you find CAHPS scores are declining in a particular area, it might be time to take a deeper look to uncover what might be going on.
3. Map patient friction to your patient journey
Solving a single point of friction can sometimes hide the underlying problem. Often patient frustration occurs at the “joints” in your patient journey. In other words, when a patient fails to convert on the desired end result, it may have been because they got lost in the handoff between one touchpoint and another. Using poor patient survey results as red flags to begin your search can help your team identify parts of the journey that may require some additional fine tuning.
How to Improve Patient Satisfaction
Let’s start with what CAHPS is and what it isn’t. While CAHPS is a valuable tool to help diagnose patient satisfaction issues and monitor improvement overtime, it isn’t a one-step roadmap to more satisfying patient experiences. In order to turn CAHPS surveys into a powerful improvement strategy, it’s up to the patient experience team to chart the journey forward.
To help your organization start this journey, here is a simple three-step process you can use to help define your improvement “North Star.”