Case Study

VOICE Raises HCAHPS from 35%ile to 91%ile

As documented at Beryl Institute and AONE Conference, in this remarkable case study, Patient’s VOICE is shown to be the crucial and effective means of improving a hospital’s perceived service and quality (HCAHPS scores). Even after spending $250 million on first-class amenities and technolgies, and implementing scores of best practices like hourly rounding, white-boards, and quiet zones; the hospital failed to raise its HCAHPS scores from the bottom half of all hospitals.

VOICE works in 6 months

Then, after the hospital implemented Patient’s VOICE, within six months the hospital’s overall HCAHPS scores went up over 40 points, measures of perceived quality soared, and the hospital achieved 91 percentile on Medicare’s Value Based Purchasing scores. As a result, the hospital received 130% of its 2013 Medicare VBP dollars (over $500,000).

Here’s what happened. In 2008, Reid Hospital in Richmond, Indiana built its dream hospital near its existing facility: all private family-friendly high-tech patient rooms, Zen healing gardens, behind-the-scenes transport, gourmet food, wireless networks, art galleries, in-room full-menu dining, soaring glass walls, on-demand education networks, noise cancelling systems, and even hyperbaric recovery chambers for its state-of-the-art surgery center. The problem: patient satisfaction and perceived quality scores (HCAHPS) remained below average for all hospitals.

Using directors-as-trainers

Reid then used its directors to train, coach, and reward its 2,000 employees’ abilities to ask and listen for each Patient’s VOICE (Values, Opinions, Information, Concerns, Emotions) and to express their VOICE. The result was a culture shift. Open communication and employee empowerment broke through functional silos and status barriers to create a culture of cooperation and collaboration across departments, within teams, and with patients.

“Patient’s VOICE works on many levels,” says Dr. Richard Strand, its developer. “VOICE gives meaning and structure to what providers share and communicate. And by using directors as Leader-trainers and supervisors as VOICE Coaches, the new VOICE standards are ingrained in performance systems and the long-term culture of the hospital.”