Patient satisfaction scores will soon be tied to reimbursement and the change has shifted everyone's attention to patient experience. Nurse executives have placed the issue at the top of their priorities list for 2011, according to the just-released HealthLeaders Media 2011 Annual Survey.
The survey asked healthcare leaders across the board to rank their top three priorities for the year. Nurse executives placed patient experience/patient satisfaction at the top, followed by quality/patient safety, and cost reduction.
The result differs from CEOs, who placed cost reduction at the top of the priorities list, followed by quality/patient safety second, and reimbursement third. Patient experience and satisfaction came in at number four on the list.
This indicates that it is nursing leaders who bear much of the responsibility for ensuring the organization provides a positive patient experience and for keeping tabs on quality and patient safety issues.
Patient experience is an interesting topic that's guaranteed to engender strong emotions. Cheryl Clark explored this topic for HealthLeaders last month in a piece titled "How Grumpy Patients Can Cost Hospitals Big Bucks." She said hospitals in some areas of the country are concerned they may be unfairly penalized for their region's collective personality. While it may be a sit-com stereotype to think that everyone in New York loves to complain, loudly, while people in the South are polite and easily pleased, some argue that regional characteristics will affect scores.