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How PEX Drives Financial Performance

How PEX Drives Financial Performance

Researchers have found a clear and measurable correlation between hospitals that receive high HCAHPS scores and profitability. A study, by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions on descriptive and regression analyses of these scores found that hospitals with higher patient experience ratings financially outperformed lower-rated hospitals  — even after controlling for hospital and local area characteristics. Specifically, the survey found that hospitals with “excellent” overall patient experience ratings had a net operating margin of 4.7 percent, on average, compared with 1.8 percent for hospitals with “low” ratings. The survey found a direct correlation between hospitals that make investments in improving patient care, rather than cost-cutting and better patient ratings. For example, “hospitals with better experience levels earn $444 per patient per day more revenue than those with lower ratings but spend only $357 more,” the report states, the report states.  

HCAHPS Impacts Clinical Outcomes

It’s also misleading to think of HCAHPS-based rounds as a patient satisfaction activity when it is in fact a measure of the patient experience.  The HCAHPS Survey includes almost exclusively clinically relevant concerns like understanding their doctor’s instructions, the purpose and side effects of medication, and the support the patient has after they transition their care.  As discussed in a study of myocardial patients and those with diabetes, the power of patient-centered care evidenced-based medicine is a powerful method to identify and address issues that can have an immediate impact on patient safety and outcomes.

PEX Impacts Malpractice Risks

A study by Fullam and Garman found that for “each drop of patient-reported scores along a five-step scale of “very good” to “very poor,” the likelihood of a provider being named in a malpractice suit increased by 21.7 percent. These findings are further substantiated in a study by Levinson and Roter, which found that the presence of physician-patient communication, including laughter and humor, is linked to lower malpractice claims. The study also found that lower malpractice risks were associated with patient engagement that included efforts to solicit a patient’s opinion.

PEX Drives Employee Satisfaction & Retention

The emotional and physical strain on healthcare professionals leads to burnout and compassion fatigue, which can hinder patient satisfaction levels. Research shows that when hospitals begin to implement new employee satisfaction processes, specifically through IT solutions, employee satisfaction goes up and turnover drops. One study highlights a hospital that experienced a 4.7% reduction in employee turnover after focusing on improving PEX initiatives.

PEX teams know that patient expectations are multifaceted, leading them to the erroneous, and damaging, belief that if they could talk to each and every patient, they could help more patients. Working harder and longer is not always the solution and could be detrimental to superior patient satisfaction This should come as good news for overworked PEX teams, who may have mistakenly attributed their low satisfaction scores to their inability to talk with every patient. However, the reality is, there are some patients who simply won’t communicate about their dissatisfaction during their in-patient stay. Connecting with this patient demographic can yield long term improvements in patient satisfaction and PEX scores and in turn financial health for the organization.

Ambassador Software Works 

Ambassador Software Works provides AI-based patient insights through its proprietary APEXamenity Rounding Tool and through partnerships with leading Rounding Tool vendors. To learn more about how AI-based patient insights can improve your patients’ experience, HCAHPS scores, and VBP reimbursement, please call 855.349.4224 or email