Hospitals Focus Strongly on Improving Patient Satisfaction, Infection Control in Response to Healthcare Reform

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HRA’s Newest Study Explores Hospital Perceptions; Actions Taken and Planned in Response to the PPACA

Key components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010 have forced hospitals to reassess, realign, and re-focus efforts and processes to improve both quality and patient satisfaction, according to a recent study by HRA – Healthcare Research & Analytics.

Of primary concern for hospitals is their performance under the Patient Experience of Care Measures provision of Value-Based Purchasing – a reimbursement scheme under Healthcare Reform that rewards and penalizes hospitals based on performance across eight patient satisfaction and 12 key quality measures. Study respondents acknowledge that while hospitals can enact hard measures to monitor and enhance quality performance, patient satisfaction is subjective and often outside of the control of the hospital. Further, over half of the Hospitalists surveyed by HRA contend that gauging patient satisfaction on a national basis reflects an unfair benchmark, given the inherent differences in patient populations across different geographies. Directors of Pharmacy and Hospital Administrators interviewed share a similar perspective.

“[Value-based purchasing is] a big focus for us,” commented one Hospital Administrator in the research, who participated under the condition of anonymity. “[The] Quality Council meets monthly to make sure we optimize potential for return. With the Patient Sat measures, there's a feeling [that] people in the Northeast are generally more critical than in the South or Midwest. It may be we're at a disadvantage being measured nationally on this.”

HRA’s research also revealed that, while infection control has persisted as a key area of quality focus in the hospital over the past few years, financial penalties pending under the PPACA for hospital-acquired conditions have placed even greater emphasis in this area. Three-quarters of participating hospitals in this research have increased their documentation efforts specifically toward the goal of reducing infection and error to help mitigate potential penalties – and formalized hand washing policies, MRSA monitoring, and isolation practices are utilized across the majority of hospitals evaluated.

HRA’s newest study, Healthcare Reform in the Hospital – Implications for the Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Medical Device Industries, explores the key components of Healthcare Reform as they impact the hospital environment – from Value-Based Purchasing tenets to bundled Medicare payment pilots to ACO formation and more. The report provides a primer on the key elements of Reform and pairs extensive desk research with primary qualitative and quantitative primary research among Directors of Pharmacy, Hospitalists, and Administrators from large hospitals and systems across the United States. It also includes perspectives from key opinion leaders (KOLs) representing industry, academia, and major healthcare consultancies. The research covers a variety of topics including quality measures/guidelines, efforts to promote patient satisfaction, efforts to reduce excess readmissions, infection control measures, the overall importance of Healthcare Reform to hospital policy decision-making, as well as unmet needs across hospitals in light of Healthcare Reform.

“Even as the law is being reviewed at the Supreme Court level, Healthcare Reform is having an immediate and current impact on the hospital channel,” said John Maglione, President and General Manager of HRA. “It’s a critical time for market leaders to understand exactly how hospitals are prioritizing the requirements of Healthcare Reform in their policies and decision-making, the steps they are taking to ensure success, and any needs they might have to support those efforts. Our newest study is designed to help decision-makers in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and device industries better understand this changing dynamic and how to react.”

HRA – Healthcare Research & Analytics is a fresh blend of experienced healthcare market researchers employing a comprehensive, unique process and analytical approach leading to better business decisions. HRA offers a unique spectrum of quantitative and qualitative, custom and syndicated market research services to support the business needs of the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device markets.

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Lisa Fox
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