Goal: Patient experiences affect the competitiveness and financial viability of a hospital. The purpose of this research was to ascertain the factors that contribute to positive inpatient experiences by using empirical evidence from national databases and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey data.
Methods: Data were assembled from four publicly available U.S. government datasets. The HCAHPS national survey responses (n = 2,472) were based on four consecutive quarters of patient surveys. Measures of clinical complications obtained from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services were used to assess hospital quality. Social determinants of health were incorporated into the analysis by including data from the Social Vulnerability Index as well as zip code-level information from the Office of Policy Development and Research.
Principal findings: The study results show that hospital quietness, nurse communication, and care transition positively affected patient experience ratings and the patient's likelihood to recommend the hospital. In addition, findings show that hospital cleanliness positively influenced patient experience ratings. However, hospital cleanliness had little impact on the likelihood of a patient's recommending the hospital, and staff responsiveness had a negligible impact on both patient experience ratings and the likelihood to recommend the hospital. The results also revealed that hospitals with better clinical outcomes received better patient experience ratings and recommendation scores, whereas hospitals that serve more vulnerable populations received worse patient experience ratings and recommendation scores.
Practical applications: Findings from this research demonstrate that managing the physical surroundings by providing a clean and quiet environment, providing relationship-centered care through interactions with medical personnel, and working to engage patients in their health as they transition out of care contributed to positive inpatient experiences.
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