Hospital margins can increase 50% if health providers offer patients a better customer experience, Accenture calculates in the paper, Insight Driven Health – Hospitals see link between patient experience and bottom line.
Specifically, hospitals with HCAHPS scores of 9 or 10, the highest recommendations a patient can give in the survey, more likely enjoy higher margins (upwards of 8%). The Hospital Computer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey is administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and measures patients’ exeperiences in hospital post-discharge.
The correlation, simply put, is “Happy Patients, Healthy Margins,” Accenture coined in the report, and it works across all kinds of hospitals — for-profit and non-profit, academic medical centers and rural non-teaching institutions, system members and standalone providers.
Accenture offers six recommendations to hospitals for engaging patients — now, health consumers:
- Put patients first, delivering experiences people appreciate
- Inspire staff, empowering employees to be patient-centered
- Build trust and loyalty, showing consumers the top goal is their health and welfare
- Embed digital “everywhere,” meeting people where they are in their lives
- Make it easy, streamlining care and information, including financial
- Continuously innovate, going beyond the bricks-and-mortar institution.
To develop these insights, Accenture analyzed HCAHPS scores between 2008 and 2013 and CMS-reported hospital margins during the period.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: “Patient engagement” has many definitions; let’s turn to the Picker Institute Principles — seven primary dimensions of patient-centered care which date back to the 1980s:
- Respect for patients’ values, preferences and expressed needs
- Coordination and integration of care
- Information, communication and education
- Physical comfort
- Emotional support and alleviation of fear and anxiety
- Involvement of family and friends
- Transition and continuity.
In 1987, “Access to care” was added to these.
Thirty+ years later, market forces are converging to drive us back to what should have always been common sense: respect patients, their values and needs; coordinate care; keep people informed and educated; comfort them; be emotionally tuned-in and listen; involve the social network for support, empathy and care; and, foster safe transitions.
Finally, ensure access to health services.
Accenture’s research demonstrates the hard dollar value to doing these things and making patients the central “noun” in healthcare.