Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems – Health System Example

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"Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems" is a great example of a paper on the health system. HCAHPS is a standardized measure of patient or consumer satisfaction in a health facility measured across several dimensions; doctor’ s and nurses’ communication with the patient, the responsiveness of staff to the needs of the patient, patient pain management by the health staff, staff communication with the patient about medicines and provision of important information upon discharge from the health facility. The patient is also required to give a subjective rating of cleanliness, the quietness of the patient rooms, the overall rating of the health facility, and whether they would recommend the health facility to anyone else seeking medical attention.

The HCAHPS is a national, standardized, and public and my practicum seeks to improve the rating of the hospital at which I work (HCAHPS, 2012). To achieve this objective, the focus has to be put on the satisfaction of the patient and this requires a re-evaluation of the current situation and learning new ways to improve the hospital’ s rating. The learning strategies I propose are; reviewing case studies, role-playing, debate, and a combination of clinical rounds and problem-based learning. The use of case studies serves the function of focusing on pertinent health issues, some of which might be unique localized and providing useful data in a scientific way.

An example is relying on the unique demography of the patients and using epidemiology to study trends and progression of certain diseases that have common occurrences in the area. This way, the hospital will be better equipped to deal with similar presenting problems and hopefully record higher patient satisfaction (Studer, Robinson, and Cook, 2010). Debates and open discussions foster critical and creative thinking among healthcare workers.

They provide a unique setting where healthcare workers in different positions in the hospital, at different points of their careers, and who have different experiences share their knowledge. This promotes cohesion in a team as well as a chance for workers to learn from each other and reflect upon their roles and how to develop into better healthcare providers. Role-playing will encourage perspective-taking by the healthcare providers. It gives one a chance to have the patient experience and this empathy-inducing practice gives insight into how to manage patient needs and concerns. Clinical rounds and problem-based learning are vital as different workers can act as supervisors to each other and provide useful feedback as to what they feel needs appraisal or improvement.

The hands-on approach required by this learning style implies that positive criticism can be shared among colleagues and it also provides a learning experience to the less experienced. The measures that will be used to indicate the success of the practicum program will be in line with the HCAHPS and the first will be the patient’ s general perception of the effectiveness of the hospital and this will be comparative; before and after the practicum.

Assessment of data that will be collected during the practicum and reviewing its usefulness in helping the staff deal with common problems more efficiently will be the second measure. Third, staff satisfaction and their rating of the new working/learning model will be measured. Finally, observation will be used to gauge the efficiency and changes implemented in the hospital procedures and management after the practicum. There are some problems anticipated in measuring the attainment of the practicum objectives.

Some changes are implemented with a long-term vision and the changes might not be apparent in the short term. Quantifying some of the measures might prove to be difficult making it hard to reflect the magnitude and impact of the changes. As an insider with some interest in the hospital, some successes might be exaggerated and the failures downplayed. These challenges will be addressed by maintaining objectivity and impartiality, measuring only those changes that are clear, and establishment and testing a scoring system for each objective prior to the actual final measurement.


HCAHPS fact sheet. Retrieved 16 august 2012 from:

Studer, Q., Robinson, B. and Cook, K. (2010). The HCAHPS Handbook: Hardwire Your Hospital for Pay-For-Performance Success. New York: Fire Starter Publishing.

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