University of South Florida

USF Physicians Group launches patient satisfaction survey, asking 12,000 patients about their care at USF Health [video]

Because the best way for anyone to improve is to hear feedback, providers and support staff across the USF Physicians Group will soon know how patients feel about the care they receive at USF Health, from their first point of contact to direct interaction with providers to their checking out.

USFPG is partnering with Press Ganey©, a national firm specializing in measuring patient satisfaction and patient delivery, to implement the standardized patient satisfaction survey of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS).

The information collected will be used to define and design improvement strategies that will improve patient care and build stronger patient safety initiatives, as well as be used as benchmarking opportunities with other large academic physician practices, said Terri Ashmeade, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, chief of Pediatrics at Tampa General Hospital, and chief quality officer for USF Health.

“Of all the things we measure in health care, our assessment of the patient’s experience of our care is one of the most important,” Dr. Ashmeade said. “When patients feel welcomed into an environment of care, when they feel their providers are spending adequate time with them and really listening to their issues, they become more engaged in their own care.”

Dr. Terri Ashmeade

The data from this survey will also help define USFPG strengths, which can help elevate the digital relevance of the USF Physicians Group and its providers. While recommendations from friends and family might have helped in choosing a doctor in the past, more and more health care consumers of today are searching online for options for both doctors and facilities.

“Consumers are becoming much more sophisticated,” Dr. Ashmeade said. “There are many tools available to them by which they can select providers and assess providers, like they assess other services they receive in the community. So, by USF Health being proactive and sending surveys and getting this type of feedback now, we can start getting ahead of the curve in understanding what our patients really expect from us and putting those types of services in place.”

The first surveys are being sent this week – both electronically and by mail. Over the course of months, more than 12,000 USF Health patients across the region will be asked how satisfied they are with the care they receive by USF Physicians Group and their opinion of nearly every touch point they encounter. After all survey results have been carefully examined to ensure their accuracy and validity, they will be shared with faculty.

The aim of this comprehensive patient satisfaction survey is to glean the greatest amount of information possible for analysis – the more robust the data, the greater the options are for targeted, successful improvement, said Phillip Cox, Esq., LHRM, associate vice president for Quality, Safety and Risk.

“We want to capture as many patients as possible so we have the best survey results as possible,” he said.

Phil Cox

Phil Cox

That expected volume is why Press Ganey is helping.

“That’s the main reason we’re bringing them in is to maintain the integrity over the data,” Cox said. “They’re the experts. A lot of places utilize homegrown surveys and we decided it would be better for us to invest because we care so much about our patients and we want this data to be as solid as possible. There’s a lot of science that goes into completing a good survey and managing the data that comes out. What’s really important to us is that the data is as accurate as possible so we can use it to enhance the care of our patients, first and foremost, but also to make sure our providers understand that the integrity and attribution in this information is appropriate.”

This standardized survey is designed to encompass the entire patient experience, from the moment they walk in the door until the moment they leave. For USFPG providers, the survey will help them understand what patients expect. Feedback, both complimentary and critical, will help USFPG providers know where they stand, giving them a baseline for implementing improvements.

Making targeted changes that improve patient care will require providers to have learning agility in order to be effective, Cox said.

“I want providers at USFPG to know that this is a very positive process and it’s going to help us provide that exceptional care we all come in every day and strive for,” he said. “It’s going to enhance the communication we have with our patients. For the first time here at USF Health we’ll be able to truly hear what those needs are and help fulfill those needs for our patients.”

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