Provider-patient communication and hospital ratings: perceived gaps and forward thinking about the effects of COVID-19

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Abstract Objectives To highlight clinical and operational issues, identify factors that shape patient responses in Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) and test the correlations between composite measures and overall hospital ratings. Design Responses to HCAHPS surveys were used in a partial correlation analysis to ascertain those HCAHPS composite measures that most relate to overall hospital ratings. The linear mean scores for the composite measures and individual and global items were analyzed with descriptive analysis and correlation analysis via JMP and SPSS statistical software. Setting HCAHPS is a patient satisfaction survey required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for hospitals in the USA. The survey is for adult inpatients, excluding psychiatric patients. Participants 3382 US hospitals. Intervention None. Main Outcome Measure Pearson correlation coefficients for the six composite measures and overall hospital rating. Results The partial correlations for overall hospital rating and three composite measures are positive and moderately strong for care transition (0.445) and nurse communication (0.369) and weak for doctor communication (0.066). Conclusions From a health policy standpoint, it is imperative that hospital administrators stress open and clear communication between providers and patients to avoid problems ranging from misdiagnosis to incorrect treatment. Additional research is needed to determine how the coronavirus of 2019 pandemic influences patients’ perceptions of quality and willingness to recommend hospitals at a time when nurses and physicians show symptoms of burnout due to heavy workloads and inadequate personal protective equipment.



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