Eyes on the prize: Agency Improves HHCAHPS scores

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Former Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson (Retired)

Agency Improves HHCAHPS scoresAs an agency leader, you should recognize the importance of your agency’s score on the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey. But do you know how to move the needle on these measures?

Carroll Home Care in Maryland knows how because leaders there make performance on these measures a focus, says Diane Link, RN, BHA, executive director. Focusing on their performance helps impact the organization in three areas:

  • Management, by identifying strengths and weaknesses; guiding Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) measures; and validating staff performance reviews
  • Marketing, by knowing the competition; promoting the agency’s performance; and challenging team members
  • Financial, by preparing the agency for pay for performance; and providing a contracting advantage

The agency relies on patient satisfaction data from Press Ganey and care information from McKesson Homecare Insight to learn more about its performance. Insight, for example, can show outcomes for each patient or in aggregate that can be broken down by discipline or by nurse. Each clinician receives a dashboard showing individual performance once a month. “It’s a great way to drill down into what your problems are,” Link says.

But finding out where your problem areas are is just the first step on the improvement journey. You also need to understand what best practices are and how you can improve. Link recommends several courses of action, including doing research, attending conferences, networking with other agencies, reaching out to the Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI) National Campaign and contacting your state Quality Improvement Organization. You also should be reading white papers on a wide variety of topics (not just home health and hospice) to get ideas, as well as looking for outcomes research that pertains to your patient population.

Carroll Home Care ranks above the national average on such HHCAHPS questions as providing care in a professional way, communicating with patients, discussing medication, pain and home safety, rating of overall care and recommending the agency. Link believes the agency has surpassed the norms on these measures because it focuses on them.

Next: Learn how Carroll Home Care addresses the medication, pain and home safety question and works to lower the readmission rate.

Begin reading a variety of whitepapers and e-books available at the McKesson Homecare Talk Resources Center to discover financial and operational opportunities in the home care regulatory environment.

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