Data About OHSU Patients’ Experience of Care Released Publicly

03/28/08  Portland, Ore.

Data will help OHSU enhance its investment in transparency

Patient experience data from hospitals across the country, including Oregon Health & Science University, is being released publicly today. OHSU serves as a leader in reporting quality and outcomes data and believes this information will lead the nation toward a more transparent healthcare environment.

Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems (HCAHPS) is a behavior-based measurement of patients’ experiences and provider behaviors. This is the first time a standardized approach has been available to allow objective comparisons among hospitals regarding patient experience issues.

“HCAHPS data is one more tool consumers have available to help them make informed healthcare choices,” said Roy Magnusson, M.D., OHSU chief medical officer. “The data complements OHSU’s other quality initiatives and will strengthen our dedication to service excellence.”

The data consists of 27 questions, 18 of which encompass seven key areas, including communication with nurses, communication with doctors, communication about medications, responsiveness of hospital staff, cleanliness and quietness of hospital environment, pain management, and discharge information. The other nine questions are for screening and demographics purposes. The data included on the Web site covers October 2006 - June 2007.

OHSU scored very close to or above the state and national averages in overall rating and willingness of patients to recommend the hospital to family and friends. OHSU also scored close to state and national averages in cleanliness of the hospital environment and communication about medications. OHSU scored slightly below state and national averages in the other categories.

“While the performance data in this report approximates state and national averages, our performance in more recent quarters has shown improvement,” said Kim Bass, OHSU director of service excellence. “We strive to offer patients the best possible experience, in terms of the care they receive and the environment in which they receive it. Feedback from patients will allow us to identify areas where we can continue to improve that process.”

OHSU has made major investments in improving the patients experience, including implementing EPIC, a new electronic health record system. OHSU has also begun introducing tools for nurses and doctors to better communicate with patients in an attempt to implement a more collaborative care environment.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began tying two percent of reimbursement rates to hospitals’ completion of the HCAHPS survey in July 2007. Over the next few years the portion of reimbursement tied to this data is expected to rise.

OHSU is committed to accelerating healthcare transparency in Oregon and beyond in order to create a more patient-centered healthcare model. OHSU was one of the first hospitals to publicly release aggregate outcomes data and continues to provide consumers with access to other quality and service data on its Web site: (see quality and service) OHSU sees the HCAHPS data as an important step toward creating standardized measurement tools that are meaningful to consumers.

About OHSU
Oregon Health & Science University is the state’s only health and research university, and Oregon’s only academic health center. It serves patients from every corner of the state, and is a conduit for learning for more than 3,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to every county in the state.