What’s Right in Health Care Conference and HCAHPS

May 20, 2008

Is there a day on the calendar that you look forward to every year as it gets closer? Maybe it’s a birthday. Maybe an annual reunion with old friends. As the date gets closer, your anticipation builds because you will be able to celebrate something important to you with people you care about. For me, one of my favorite days on the 2008 calendar is just five weeks away, so I’m feeling that same sense of excitement. Why? Because on June 18-20 I get to meet with and learn from the largest and most passionate group of healthcare leaders in the world, all in one place.

Our registration already includes more than 1,300 individuals from around the world committed to passionately implementing the same set of evidence-based tactics proven to save lives; to make healthcare better for employees; and to reinvigorate physicians in the practice of medicine the way it was intended. If you count yourself among the leaders committed to making healthcare better, I hope you are able to join us and experience the excitement and learning that takes place each year.

Over the three days we will be together, we will hear stories of what’s working well in healthcare organizations across the world, and leave with practical ideas we can put into action when we return back to our own organizations. While all three days will be solid with content, let me focus on just one of the educational sessions.

On Wednesday June 18th from 3:00-5:15, one of the six breakout sessions at that time will focus on HCAHPS. This intensive workshop is being led by two of our most senior coaches, who have worked with organizations in the HCAHPS pilot project, as well as a leader from Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, one of the best performing organizations nationwide according to the initial HCAHPS results. Between their direct experience, and that of the organizations we have coached, Studer Group has more experience improving performance on HCAHPS than just about anyone else. In fact, whether you look at likelihood to recommend or a specific measure like pain control, 3 out of 4 Studer Group partners outperform the national HCAHPS database.

Why is this session important? Because HCAHPS is arguably the most powerful transformation for U.S. healthcare since President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law as part of his “Great Society” plan in 1965. That’s a bold statement. But I believe it is also a fact, because for the first time since we, the people, were given these essential insurance plans, our voice now counts. As part of CMS’s ever-evolving Value Based Purchasing plan, the voice of the patient is now being heard through HCAHPS, and will soon help steer payments toward those providers whose customers perceive that they provide better care. As such it is absolutely critical that your organization understand and focus on the underlying issues that will shape the perception of your organization in the eyes of the patients for which you care.

Whether you plan to attend the HCAHPS breakout session or not, we strongly encourage you to take a moment and complete the following brief online survey. This three-part survey asks you to complete the HCAHPS questions just as a patient would; to list the single most important tactic that could improve the scores you gave; and any one question you would like the presenters of this session to answer. This anonymous survey results will be used in the actual presentation and will help customize the content to information you value. For your voice to be included in this survey, please click the following link before next Friday, May 23:

http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=WEB227SD2CAL42

This is just one of the 33 breakout sessions offered during the event. The other 32 breakouts each address a specific tactic, such as physician communication, service recovery, developing nurse leaders, rounding on employees, employee selection and retention, pain management, interdepartmental surveys, etc. Presenting organizations include winners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, large academic medical centers and small hospitals serving rural America. In addition, we have 6 hours of plenary keynote sessions that will leave you talking; an awards event to celebrate together our shared successes in improving healthcare; and the world’s first concert specifically designed for healthcare leaders.

On June 18-20 I hope you will be able to join with hundreds and hundreds of leaders just like you – committed to making a difference. I hope to see you there.

Quint

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