Improving Patient Experience in the Inpatient Setting

A Case Study of Three Hospitals

Across the United States, hospitals are asking patients to report on their experience during their inpatient stay. This information is important as hospitals work toward improving their performance. Using this information, this case study demonstrates that targeted efforts can positively impact patient experience.

This case study uses the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) model as the framework to describe how the following three hospitals are using the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) data and other information in the improvement process:

  1. Cleveland Clinic and its focus on purposeful nurse rounding to improve communication and responsiveness;
  2. Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and its improvement of the discharge experience for patients of its Women's Cancer Program; and
  3. United Hospital of Allina Hospitals & Clinics and its use of positive deviance to change the culture of pain management.

Common themes cutting across all three settings included:

  • Leadership and empowerment of frontline staff;
  • The PDSA approach;
  • Pilot demonstrations;
  • Continual education and feedback; and
  • Better communication and engagement with patients as an essential focus.