Pharmacists Help Hospitals Improve Patient Satisfaction Scores

Daniel Weiss, Senior Editor
Published Online: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Follow Pharmacy_Times:
At hospitals around the country, pharmacists are helping to increase scores on the medication and pain management sections of the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey.

Pharmacists at hospitals across the country are playing a key role in efforts to increase scores on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, according to an article in the August 2012 edition of Pharmacy Practice News. Hospitals are keen to receive high scores on the survey, which can increase incentive payments under the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Hospital Value-Based Purchasing program.
 
At the Cleveland Clinic, the article explains, pharmacists have been an important part of efforts to improve medication-related scores on the survey while also reducing heart failure readmissions. The clinic encourages patients to ask questions about the purpose and possible side effects of their medications. It also has pharmacy techs deliver discharge medications to the patient’s bedside. The techs are outfitted with iPads and, if necessary, pharmacists are available to discuss these medications with the patient via video link. Finally, pharmacists provide medication counseling upon discharge to all patients with a primary diagnosis of heart failure. As a result, the Cleveland Clinic’s medication-related HCAHPS scores have risen to 64%, and heart failure readmissions have decreased 12%.
 
The University of Utah Hospital and Clinics, the article explains, have focused on improving pain scores on the HCAHPS survey by moving away from the 0-10 pain scale and looking instead at patients’ overall pain tolerability. Nurses are the primary evaluators of pain, but pharmacists consider pain management strategies during medication reconciliation upon admission. Meanwhile, Sheridan Memorial Hospital in rural Wyoming has launched an effort to improve medication-related HCAHPS scores by creating a guide with indications and side effects for the medications most commonly used by its patients as well as a guide to drug, food, and natural remedy interactions. A clinical pharmacist goes over the latter pamphlet with patients upon discharge and explains all relevant interactions to them.

Related Articles
Patients with uncontrolled hypertension have better blood pressure control when pharmacists are included in their care teams.
Many new mothers do not receive advice from physicians on how to care for their infants, which opens opportunities for pharmacists to provide patient education.
Two New Yorkers have died in a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, and now a college in Pennsylvania is treating its cooling towers after an employee tested positive for the flu-like disease.
The FDA is warning health care professionals and patients about prescribing and dispensing errors related to confusion between the antidepressant Brintellix and the blood thinner Brilinta.
Latest Issues
$auto_registration$