Improving HCAHPS Scores

with Effective Communication

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Ideas for Improving HCAHPS Scores:

To give hospital patients more control in their experiences with medical care providers, Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scoring was introduced as a way to review and give feedback to healthcare providers. Achieving a high score is one of the greatest measures of success in hospitals and other healthcare providers.

Improving HCAHPS score in your organization can be as easy as making a few important changes.  


1) Culture change

Instead of seeing HCAHPS as something that takes time away from staff doing their job, make the HCAHPS requirements a core part of their job, and by default, part of your culture. For example, align your organization’s values to HCAHPS survey questions e.g. If your value is respect, promote the importance of respecting patients right to information i.e. knowing what medication they are being given. If staff know their responsibilities you will see an improvement in patient experience.


2) Communication and repetition

Once your values have been aligned to patient experience, effective communication is a must to ensure culture change happens. Simple actions like reminding staff to make eye contact with the patient; acknowledging patients regardless of whether a staff member is on duty or not; and involving patients and their families every step of the way can all contribute to improving your HCAHPS score.

These messages can be communicated via posters, digital signage and screensavers around staff-only areas.


3) Check staff knowledge

It’s important that staff know what the metrics are in the HCAHPS surveys. Staff quizzes can really aid in educating employees and providing examples for the best ways to act in certain situations. Repeating quizzes and providing staff with resources to learn will increase knowledge and understanding of best practice. Measuring staff knowledge also helps you predict how you will perform in the HCAHPS survey.


4) Two-way communication

Just as communication to employees is important, providing staff with a method of communication to the organization anonymously is just as important. Use a suggestion box or staff survey to gain an understanding of any system or process failures. Providing a communication outlet ensures staff can participate, and helps improve employee engage. This has a direct effect on performance and attitude, proven to improve HCAHPS scores.



Some communication tools can help action these ideas in your organization, including:


Healthcare workers don’t typically sit in front of a computer all day, reading emails or browsing the intranet, so communications channels need to adapt. SnapComms’ internal communications software include:

Interactive Screensaver Messaging

SnapComms’ interactive screensaver messaging tool allows healthcare communicators to publish visual communications to workstations as well as large screens or monitors in communal areas such as cafeterias, break rooms, locker rooms, or conference facilities.



Screensaver Messaging Series Example

Desktop Wallpaper Messaging

SnapComms’ desktop wallpaper messaging tool allows administrators to publish messages to computer wallpaper backgrounds:



Location Based Targeting


In addition to user-based targeting, SnapComms’ messaging channels support machine-based targeting as an option. This is particularly relevant within hospitals and large campus environments where workers tend to log into computers using generic usernames and passwords. It allows administrators to target messages to specific computers or locations: For example, in a designated quiet areas.

Pop-Up Quizzes and Surveys


The best insights often come from the frontline so ask doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers for their ideas and suggestions to improve patient care (and HCAHPS scores). The SnapComms pop-up survey and quiz tools allow administrators to deliver questionnaires directly onto the workstations of healthcare workers. Recurrence options based on participation help ensure that healthcare workers participate and share their thoughts, perspectives, and ideas.



For example:

What are things that cause irritants to patients?

How we can improve patient safety?

How might we improve patient satisfaction? What are your ideas?


SnapComms screensaver messages can also be used to encourage and promote survey feedback channels:



Encourage Healthcare Workers to Share Stories

Healthcare workers and other medical staff typically have a strong connection to purpose. They prefer their livelihood be aligned with personal mission, vision, and values. Therefore, sharing stories of commitment and patient impact can have a positive impression on worker engagement across the organization.




How the SnapComms channels can assist:

Create a screensaver series called “All in a Day’s Work” to encourage people to share positive stories and inspire both staff and patients.

Provide opportunities for healthcare workers to submit their stories to newsletters


SnapComms’ internal newsletter tool is an innovative electronic magazine that allows healthcare workers to upload and share their own stories and images quickly and easily. Employees are notified of the completed magazine by a scrolling ticker on their workstation, a desktop alert, or by clicking an appropriate screensaver image. There’s no need for email whatsoever!

Sharing positive healthcare stories can impact employee engagement and in turn improve HCAHPS scores.


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