When it comes to reputation management, many healthcare providers pay considerable attention to receiving high HCAHPS scores. A higher HCAHPS is essential. Not only is it a publicly reported evaluation of performance from a patient’s perspective, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also reimburse healthcare organizations based on their results.
What is HCAHPS Score?
HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) score is the barometer for recognizing a patient’s hospital experience. Surveys such as the HCAHPS, measure a patient’s experience during their stay at the hospital. The scores vary from zero to five stars. The results are then published on the CMS Hospital Compare website and are made available to people as a resource for choosing a hospital.
According to a recent study on the HCAHPS hospital survey data of more than 4000 hospitals based on online reviews, ratings, and rankings, it has been found that:
- Online reviews provide a red alert for issues that may influence patient experience, giving hospitals a chance to recognize and address those problems before the HCAHPS scores suffer.
- By continuously monitoring, managing, requesting and responding to patient feedback, a healthcare organization can work on the negative feedback that impacts its HCAHPS results.
- Positive online sentiment prophecies an improvement in HCAHPS scores by as much as 17%, year-over-year
Online reviews and your HCAHPS scores
Among the most critical considerations that drive your HCAHPS scores are online reviews and ratings, which provide prospective patients an honest reflection of other patients’ experiences. This is why 84% of patients use online reviews to evaluate doctors, and 77% use them as their first step in finding a new doctor.
When patients land on review sites such as HealthGrades, they read reviews and ratings, not HCAHPS data. Although HCAHPS scores data is accessible on the U.S. Government’s Hospital Compare website, information of this resource among patients is only 13%, and out of those, only 3% patients have visited the site.
Online reviews add depth to your HCAHPS Score
HCAHPS surveys contain nine precise questions about a patient’s experience during the hospital stay. On the other hand, online reviews cover all the critical aspects of patient experience not included by HCAHPS survey, such as caregiver ability, ease in getting an appointment, waiting time, front desk and administration complaints, quality of staff, and experiences with insurance and billing.
Problems in these areas often provoke patients to write negative reviews. Since online reviews are available immediately, they surface concerns early, giving healthcare providers an opportunity to work on the problem areas and address the negative consequence of unresolved issues on HCAHPS.
Here are 2 things you can do to leverage reviews to drive great HCAHPS scores for your practice:
1. Respond to negative reviews
It’s true that patient reviews can make or break your online reputation. It is important, to respond to all reviews, negative or positive and remedy the situation. Try to contact the patient by phone or invite them to your clinic to resolve the issue. By personally connecting with the patient, you can demonstrate your sincerity and urge a patient to remove a bad review. Take time to put your thoughts together and then respond. Also, ensure that your responses are HIPAA compliant.
2. Keep soliciting feedback
You are always looking out for more positive reviews for your practice. While you can’t force patients to review you, there are different strategies you can use to encourage them to review your healthcare practice.
7 out of 10 consumers review an organization when asked. If a patient is happy with your services, there are high chances that the only thing that is required is a little reminding. It never hurts to remind patients that, by reviewing, they are helping fellow patients choose the right healthcare providers.
Follow-up by email. It’s a great idea to reach out to patients over email. Also, include links to preferred review sites and social media profiles.
Online reviews are a significant addition to HCAHPS surveys for capturing the entire patient experience and not just the hospital stay. And, as findings indicate, they have a direct impact on HCAHPS scores.
For continued success, you must implement a robust Online Reputation Management solution like BirdEye to get more reviews for your practice and build a high volume of customer feedback, respond to negative feedback and address patient concerns, build patient trust through social engagement and use tools to gain knowledgeable insights on patient experience.
Sign up for a free demo and see how BirdEye can help you build an impactful online reputation.