IDPH + IHC FLEX Program Course: Improving the Patient Experience in Rural Hospitals

The Hospital Consumer Assessment for Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care that allows valid comparisons to be made across hospitals locally, regionally and nationally. 

The primary objective of the Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating project is to summarize information from existing measures reported on Care Compare in a way that is useful and easy to interpret for patients and consumers through the development of a statistically sound methodology. This methodology assigns each hospital a rating from one to five stars reflecting the hospital’s overall performance on Care Compare quality measures. Recent changes were made to the methodology in July 2022.

The Emergency Department (ED) CAHPS survey, while not currently required, is a common set of metrics and national standards for collecting ED patient experience data. It allows EDs to collect information about their patients’ experience of care and identify aspects of care that could be improved.

In this webinar presentation, attendees will obtain access to valuable strategies identified by high-performing critical access hospitals (CAHs) to improve HCAHPS scores in rural and CAHs. This webinar will also discuss the new methodology for calculating hospital star ratings and the impact HCAHPS scores have on the ratings. Additionally, participants will learn about the ED CAHPS survey, how inpatient strategies can also impact emergency patient experience and why a rural hospital would want to collect this information.

Funding for this course was provided by the Health Resources Services Administration, Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) 93.241).

Target Audience

Nursing, social work and others responsible for patient satisfaction

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the importance of the HCAHPS survey for CAHs
  • Discuss best practices to improve experience scores for patients in the inpatient setting
  • Identify how HCAHPS scores impact a hospital’s star rating
  • Examine the ED CAHPS survey and why a CAH would consider implementation of it
Course summary
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Janelle Shearer, RN, BSN, MA, CPHQ, Stratis Health

Quality improvement specialist from Stratis Health, Janelle Shearer has extensive experience leading quality improvement initiatives related to hospital, home health care, patient safety and palliative care. She has led multiple community-based initiatives and recently co-led a multi-state rural community-based palliative care initiative and a statewide coordination of care initiative. Janelle has lived and worked in a rural community. She has over 20 years of experience as a registered nurse (RN) in a rural health system and has experience in multiple areas including med-surg, intensive care unit/critical care unit, obstetrics-gynecology, house supervisor and home health/hospice. Because of this background, Janelle has a passion for working with rural communities. Her favorite initiative was leading the Rural Patient Safety Culture Project with Minnesota CAHs through the Flex Program. Janelle holds a Master of Arts in Nursing from Bethel University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the University of Iowa. She is an adjunct faculty at Bethel University in the RN to BSN program.

No continuing education is provided for this course. The user will receive a certificate of completion upon completing the course.

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Please register to take this on-demand webinar course. There is no registration fee.