If you’ve stayed at Prowers Medical Center in the last few years, you may remember receiving a survey in the mail shortly after your visit. That’s because the hospital participates in a survey program through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The ultimate goal of the patient satisfaction survey is to consistently provide quality care. By participating in the survey, you help the hospital improve, which improves healthcare for everyone in our community.
The survey is called HCAHPS, which stands for Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. When you receive it in the mail, it will look like it is coming from Prowers Medical Center, but it’s really sent by an independent survey company. The survey is given to all inpatients at the hospital, whether they have private insurance or receive Medicaid or Medicare.
“Its purpose is to ensure that we are giving patients the quality care they need,” said Stephanie Martinson, Quality Director at the hospital.
The survey asks 27 questions about your care experience to learn how well nurses and doctors communicated with you, how well your pain was managed, whether or not you were educated about your medications, how clean the facility was, and more. It’s a chance for you to reward the hospital for a job well done, or offer suggestions for improvement. For now, only those who stay at the hospital are surveyed using the HCAHPS form.
“We conduct other surveys in different departments, such as the clinic and home health. We are looking to do outpatient surveys in the future for those who visit the ER or get lab and imaging services,” said Martinson.
Survey results provide a baseline for the future, helping the hospital measure progress over time. The goal, of course, is to continually improve quality and surveys go hand-in-hand with recent quality efforts. In 2016, the hospital received several kudos and awards. The clinic, home health and laboratory were extensively surveyed by the State of Colorado and received a rare, zero-deficiency rating. Also, Quorum Health Resources named Prowers Medical Center the Most Improved and Best Overall of the Critical Access Hospitals they manage nationwide. Finally, iVantage Health Analytics reinforced this by naming the hospital a Top 100 hospital in 2017 among Critical Access Hospitals. Even more significantly, the hospital is in the process of becoming DNV accredited—a robust national standard for hospitals.
“Surveys are a great way to let us know what we are doing well, and what we can work on,” said Julie Hobden, New Beginnings Birthing Center Manager.
CMS uses the inpatient HCAHPS surveys to determine reimbursement rates for hospitals. When patients answer with a top choice, the government reimburses the hospital at a higher rate than usual for Medicaid and Medicare patients. It’s their way of rewarding hospitals for a job well done.
“We appreciate people choosing Prowers Medical Center for their care, and we encourage those who recently stayed with us to watch for the survey in the mail, and fill it out. It arrives approximately two to three weeks after discharge and is completely anonymous,” said Martinson.
If you have questions about the HCAHPS survey or quality efforts in general at Prowers Medical Center, call Stephanie Martinson at 719-336-7098.