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Abstract

The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a patient satisfaction survey utilized for hospital reimbursement calculations. It is not, however, considered a valid measure of individual physician performance. The object of this study was to determine if the “Tool to Assess Inpatient Satisfaction with Care from Hospitalists” (TAISCH) instrument could be leveraged to improve patient satisfaction. A pragmatic pre/post study was conducted with adult inpatients admitted to either teaching or non-teaching general internal medicine services at a large mid-western academic medical center. TAISCH surveys were administered to patients (n=192) who were able to identify their hospitalist provider by name or photograph. An intervention consisting of performance cards (n=20) and group reflection sessions (n=13) was carried out. Pre- and post-intervention TAISCH surveys were administered over a period of approximately 18 months. Coinciding pre- and post-intervention HCAHPS scores were also collected. The results show physicians received significantly higher scores following the intervention on “checking for understanding” (4.63 vs. 4.82, p=0.026) and “confidence in provider” (4.45 vs. 4.64, p=0.048). Pre- and post-intervention HCAHPS “Top Box” scores were no different for any of the three doctor communication questions (explain p=0.086, listen p=0.19, courtesy and respect p=0.19). The TAISCH survey, while providing feedback that is more detailed, actionable, and individually attributable than the HCAHPS, is time and resource intensive and appears to be insufficient in isolation to improve patient perceptions of their hospitalist physician.

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