MHSC: Receive a survey? Please fill it out!

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By Karali Plonsky, Quality AnalystMemorial Hospital of Sweetwater County

Have you visited Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County lately, or any of our Specialty Clinics? If the answer is “yes,” then you will most likely receive a patient experience survey, if you have not already. Your survey feedback is incredibly important to us. 

We use patient experience surveys to measure our patients’ perceptions of their hospital or clinic experience. We strive to improve our patients’ experiences and improve their safety. We can only do that with feedback from our community.  

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) require all hospitals to survey their inpatient units (Women’s Health, Medical/Surgical Units, Intensive Care Units) and dialysis units. MHSC recognizes the immense value these surveys hold. We also conduct voluntary surveys in the Emergency Department, Surgery Department, and in our Specialty Clinics. We administer these surveys because we are interested in understanding the patient experience and using this feedback to improve the quality of care we provide. 

MHSC has contracted with Press Ganey, a leading strategic business partner in the healthcare industry, to help us transform the care experience, drive innovation, and deliver continuous, sustainable improvement. Press Ganey partners with over 41,000 healthcare facilities and provides a wealth of knowledge to our organization. With their support, we have an enhanced understanding of what our patients are looking for in their care.  

What do we do with all of these patient experience surveys and feedback from our community? In 2021, the hospital received over 1,600 patient experience surveys, which included more than 1,900 comments. Each comment submitted on a survey is read by someone at MHSC. We analyze the data, digging for common themes regarding what we are doing well and should continue to do. We also look for specific ways we can improve the care we provide. 

One example of this work comes from our Women’s Health Department. After reviewing their 2021 patient experience survey data, it was clear there was room for improvement regarding nurses listening carefully to patients and how responsive our staff was to concerns or complaints made during a patient’s stay. At the beginning of 2021, these survey questions were in the 59th and 72nd percentile rank, respectively, when compared to Press Ganey’s other Women’s Health departments.

Using this data and feedback, Director of Women’s Health Megan Jacobsen and Clinical Coordinators Emily James and Amelia Cuevas implemented leadership rounding and provided their team with evidence-based tools to improve their listening and communication skills with patients. The department worked hard on these efforts throughout a tumultuous year and were able to improve the percentile ranks to the 97th and 95th percentiles by the end of 2021. We commend our Women’s Health Department for all of its hard work to improve patient care.


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