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Top HCAHPS dimension influencing reimbursements

Posted by Meredith Juengel on March 21, 2016 at 9:45 PM

HCAHPS_survey.jpgIf given a key that guaranteed success, would you use it to unlock your potential?  Well, a recent study published by Press Ganey sets hospital leaders up to do just that.  Described as “a rising tide,” Press Ganey found the key to significantly impact reimbursements in the Value-Based Purchasing model as related to perception of care.

Researchers set out to find one HCAHPS dimension – a rising tide measure - whose change and trajectory in performance was correlated with multiple other measures.   Focusing performance improvement strategies on this particular dimension would likely change the scores of associated dimensions as well.

Using data from 3,062 United States acute care hospitals, Press Ganey’s research team conducted a Hierarchical Variable Clustering Analysis on the eight HCAHPS dimensions:

  • Communication with Doctors
  • Communication with Nurses
  • Responsiveness of Hospital Staff
  • Pain Management
  • Communication about Medication
  • Cleanliness/Quietness of Hospital Environment
  • Discharge Information
  • Overall Rating

Analysis revealed “Communication with Nurses” is a rising tide measure.  

Being a highly influential measure, it is equally as important to point out the four HCAHPS dimensions likely influenced by “Communication with Nurses:”

  • Responsiveness of Hospital Staff
  • Pain Management
  • Communication about Medication
  • Overall Rating

With 30% of hospitals’ VBP incentive payments being determined by how patients rate their stay across the eight HCAHPS dimensions, focusing on “Communication with Nurses” gives hospital leaders the opportunity to impact up to half of that 30%.

So what is a proven method to strengthen Communication with Nurses?

The article highlighted “hiring nursing candidates who exhibit strong interpersonal skills” as a best practice associated with solid performance on Communication with Nurses.  

Imploring the use of a validated, interpersonal skills assessments as part of a pre-hire screening process helps assess how a nurse candidate would interact with others, including physicians, patients, and families when confronted with challenging scenarios.  Prophecy’s evidence-based situational interpersonal competence assessment utilizes video simulations to evaluate soft skills such as:

  • Patient Care
  • Developing Patient Relationships
  • Verbal Communication
  • Patient Customer Service
  • Patient Care Plan Management
  • Conflict Resolution

The shift in paradigm to the VBP model of reimbursements requires well-rounded individuals in the nursing role. Placing a nurse at the bedside who lacks interpersonal competence may be as costly to the facility as a nurse with clinical knowledge deficits or one who exhibits counter-productive behaviors in the workplace.

Prophecy’s holistic approach to employee selection positions clients to evaluate competencies in the three main areas critical for a nurse’s success.

As Catherine Luchsinger RN, Chief Nursing Officer of Halifax Health Medical Center explained,

"Prophecy provides our managers a systematic way to evaluate applicants, ensuring each new hire has the right mix of clinical competency, behavioral characteristics, and interpersonal skills to focus on exceptional service.”

Employing nurses who exhibit strong interpersonal skills positively affects the patient care experience and can significantly impact reimbursements.   Implement a proven solution to assess these skills – create higher reliability in predicting nurse success.

Would you like more information on Prophecy? Reach out to our team today!


Topics: healthcare hiring tool, pre-hire healthcare assessments, Culture of Safety, HCAHPS