RPCN used to distribute its patient experience of care survey, or CAHPS Survey, annually in July. This year, RPCN decided survey patients on a quarterly basis rather than annually. So a survey was mailed out in the fall, winter, and spring to patients seen during the previous three months asking for feedback on the last provider they saw and the care they received.
RPCN distributes two health surveys—one containing questions for adult patients about the health care that they received—and a second for parents/guardians to complete regarding the health care their child received. There are six focus areas for the adult health survey and there are several questions in each category:
- Shared decision making
- Self-management support
- Comprehensiveness of discussions about behavioral health and respect
- Helpfulness of office staff
Responses to the questions in each category are tallied for one overall composite average. The higher the score for each subject, the larger the percentage of patients felt positive about the focus area.
RPCN uses National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) uniform CAHPS Survey, which is sent to more 50,000 people nationally each year. This lets the organization benchmark its scores against the national average.
Below are bar graphs comparing RPCN’s results to the rest of the nation. The green bars illustrate the composite results from RPCN’s 2015 annual survey. The red bars show the RPCN 2016 year to date score (an average composite score based on the results from three of the four quarterly surveys sent out since the last annual one.) The blue bars are the national average composite scores.
Above are the results from Rushville Family Health Center. You can see that in five of the six categories, Rushville patients reported being as satisfied or more satisfied than people nationally. Shared decision making was the only area where Rushville patients were less satisfied than the national respondents. Interestingly, when comparing the results of the 2015 annual survey to the 2016 year to date results, Rushville patients were more dissatisfied about shared decision making this year than last. Shared decision making questions have to do with how often a provider discusses prescription medicines with the patient him/herself.
Utica Community Health Center scores show something different. Utica patients were more satisfied than the national sample in two of the six focus areas. In four categories, Utica patients reported being less satisfied than the national group. The largest gap between the national response and Utica adult patients can be seen in the area of access. Access questions relate to how long a patient has to wait for an urgent or routine appointment, how long he or she must wait for a phone call to be returned, or for a provider to see him/her.
RPCN is currently developing strategies to improve the areas where our patients are less satisfied than the national group. After new strategies are implemented, the results of the next year of surveys will be analyzed to see if they have helped address patient concerns.