Patient satisfaction as part of quality measurements may be the next frontier. In a hospital setting this might seem pretty straightforward, asking patients how they are feeling, how their treatment is going, how is the staff performing and is your doctor explaining your care and answering your questions seems reasonable. Even in the post acute or subacute setting this seems relatively to accomplish.
The Government Accountability Office recently concluded that adding resident satisfaction ratings to Nursing Home Compare, would be a more direct measure of nursing facility patient care. The American Health Care Association has supported this concept and has even drafted measures that have been approved by the National Quality Forum.
It seems reasonable that patient satisfaction be made part of quality measurements as the industry shifts to value-based payment and patient centered care, many issues remain unresolved.
The EHR’s do not have the capacity to gather quality measures and translate them into payments. Patients in the post acute setting may have successfully complete their rehabilitation, but may not have met their own personal goals or that of their family. Skilled nursing facility residents may not have capacity or the desire to complete questionnaires, their families may have expectations that are unrealistic. Subjective patient and family opinions of the care might not reflect the care provided and could certainly hurt the facility quality rating.
Under the new administration no one yet knows if the value-based payment system will survive. Patients/residents will surely have a greater participation in the development of quality measures, what form that will take is unclear.
Providers should just sit tight until this all plays out before trying to make substantive changes in EHR’s or procedures in the facilities. Just take note that something is in the works and change is definitely coming.