Using Patient Engagement Measures to Drive Value-Based Care Success

As the market continues to shift to value-based and patient-centered models of care, improving patient experience has never been more important for hospitals. Two common patient engagement measures are the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). These measures are growing increasingly important to ensure the patient voice is captured in assessments of hospital quality.

Here’s how HCAHPS and PROMs can drive organizational improvement:

Using HCAHPS to assess patient experience

Patients now have a strong voice through HCAHPS, which measures key aspects of care, such as pain management, responsiveness of hospital staff, discharge information and communication. Patient experience is often a more useful measure for value-based care than patient satisfaction. Instead of measuring how much a patient liked or enjoyed the care encounter, patient experience examines whether a provider did things that constitute a quality visit.

As healthcare becomes more patient-focused, hospitals that do not have strong HCAHPS scores will not be successful for long. With HCAHPS, people have the ability to compare hospital scores against the national average and against other hospitals as part of choosing a provider. That means patient engagement will have a strong impact on market share and financial performance.

At GetWell Loop, we’ve seen the powerful impact connecting with patients before, during and after a hospital stay has on satisfaction and outcomes. When daily engagement extends beyond the hospital stay, patients are not only satisfied, they are delighted and loyal. They are highly likely to recommend their provider online and when rating a physician on Healthgrades, Vitals or Google, every one-star increase equates to an 11% jump in referral volume.

For example, Health First, a multispecialty medical group in Florida, implemented HealthLoop (now GetWell Loop) to improve patient-physician communication and help the practice walk more closely with patients through their episode of care. Prior to GetWell Loop, the medical group had often struggled to get into the 50th percentile for physician communication. The medical group’s HCAHPS scores have increased to the 75th percentile and physicians now earn a 4.8 out of 5 stars on Healthgrades, up from an average 3.5 before GetWell Loop.

Using patient-reported outcome measures

Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are a critical component of assessing whether clinicians are improving the health of patients. PROMs attempt to capture whether the services provided actually improved patients’ health and sense of well-being. Patients might be asked to assess their general health, ability to complete various activities, mood, level of fatigue, and pain.

Under value-based payment methods, PROMs offer an important feedback loop in assessing performance and determining the effectiveness of different treatments.

Despite the promise of PROMs and the growing emphasis on patient-centered care and value-based reimbursement, adoption has been slow among health systems. Just 20% of hospitals routinely use outcomes data provided by the patients themselves as a way to gauge the effectiveness and quality of care, according to a 2016 survey from Health Catalyst.

Many of our customers turn to GetWell Loop because they’ve had difficulty achieving the minimum PROMs data collection rate needed to maximize reimbursement or to eliminate time- and labor-intensive PROMs collection processes for staff. The platform automates the data collection process end-to-end, enrolling patients and managing data collection automatically, with minimal staff involvement.

An automated PROMs collection tool should integrate with a health system’s EHR with minimal disruption to normal clinical workflow. And, of course, the PROMs survey should be frictionless and convenient for patients to complete.  

On average, our customers achieve an 82% PROMs rate at baseline and 73% at 12 months post-procedure/post-visit with no effort from the staff to collect the data.

Keys to value-based care success

Understanding the level at which patients are engaged plays a vital role in value-based care success for health systems. For organizations looking to drive more patient-centered care, assessing patient experience and patient feedback on functional outcomes will be essential.