The right player is more important than the best player

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.  You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.

~ Babe Ruth

The major league baseball season is underway and hope springs eternal that the Royals might finish above .500….

Baseball is a team sport and no matter how hot the bats or how good the starting pitching, if one or the other can’t hold its own, the team will not be successful.  The same is true of a hospital.

All hospitals that accept Medicare money participate in HCAHPS which is a measurement of patient perception of inpatient care.  HCAHPS results are important for a couple of reasons.  

Most importantly, HCAHPS results let us know what our patients think about the care they received while an inpatient.  The HCAHPS results also affect our reimbursement.  Up to 2% of our Medicare reimbursement is tied to results from the HCAHPS survey and our other core measures.

As I mentioned earlier, HCAHPS is a measure of inpatient perception of care but do you know the number one driver of the results?  The number one driver of results on HCAHPS is patient experience in the emergency department. 

Up to 75% of inpatient hospital stays begin in the emergency department and the experience in the emergency department sets the tone for the patient’s perception of the remainder of his or her hospital stay.  Although the HCAHPS survey is supposed to be a measure of the perception of inpatient care, it is actually the ED experience that drives the results. 

A hospital is one of the most intricate work teams in modern business.  Everyone who works in a  hospital has a specialized role and everyone has an effect on the patients outcome and everyone can influence the patients perception of care.  A patient may have great nursing care while in the hospital and fully recover from illness or injury but if someone in admitting is rude or housekeeping doesn’t put the bedside table back in arm’s reach after sweeping the floor or someone from food services delivers cold food at each meal, the patients perception may be negatively affected.

We’re a team and we all play a part in making sure the patient’s perception of care is as good as it should be.  If any player on our team doesn’t do his or her part, our patients may never play ball with us again!

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Operating Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. These are challenging and exciting times in healthcare and my blog will focus on healthcare, raising boys or being raised by boys, and living in mid America.
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