Any hospital administrator will tell you the importance of HCAHPS, the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey. HCAHPS is a standardized survey tool that's been used since 2006 to measure patients' perspectives of hospital care. Great scores are critical because they are published for all to see, and in some cases, are tied to reimbursement.
Connecting with Patients
Good communication represents about 25% of the survey, and increasingly, good communication requires great Wi-Fi. More and more, patients, doctors and hospitals are teaming up with wearables manufacturers, and health app providers to improve communications and care. Therefore, it should be asked, how long before a question regarding the quality of Wi-Fi connectivity and communication makes it to the survey?
Patients’ perceptions of good communication during their hospital stays don’t begin and end with their ability to stay in touch with their doctors or nurses. Perceptions extend beyond the walls of recovery rooms to a patient’s ability to connect with the outside world.
Using personal iPads or ones provided by the hospital, patients depend on reliable Wi-Fi to communicate with family and friends. Whether through email, Facebook, FaceTime or Skype, this experience is an important part of the patient’s healing process and shouldn’t be overlooked.
In fact, it's possible that HCAHPS scores are already reflecting this attitude, and we don't even know about it because it takes time for the survey to catch up with sentiment.
The Bigger Patient Experience Picture
The hospital experience must extend to include patient family and friends too, as these individuals spend many hours in your facilities. As an extension of your patient, family and friends are also your customers, and should be treated as such. In some cases, they may even be paying the medical bill; therefore, consideration for their experiences should be equally important.
Terrible Wi-Fi performance and connectivity experienced by family members in lobbies and waiting areas can be quite damaging to your hospital brand.
Wi-Fi performance management in hospitals is certainly mission-critical from an equipment and telemetry standpoint, but it’s also mission critical for optimal patient experiences.
Patients, families and friends all depend upon reliable Wi-Fi networks to stay connected. The inability to use Wi-Fi to communicate smoothly is a direct reflection on the hospital and may lead to poor HCAHPS survey results.
So when is a Wi-Fi performance question going to appear on the HCAHPS survey? It may be sooner than you think!
Download this case study to learn more about how improving Wi-Fi can increase doctor/nurse productivity and patient satisfaction.