Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Using HH-CAHPS to help your agency grow

With HH-CAHPS being a requirement from CMS, many agencies are enrolling begrudgingly as if serving a sentence, while others are viewing this as an opportunity to be able to capture much more of the market share. Those that do this properly will not only have a public report touting the quality of their care, but have more loyal customers, employees, and perhaps increase the conversion rate of inquiries. HH-CAHPS should be seen as a way to help your agency rather than simply an expense you have to incur.

1. Use HH-CAHPS as another way to increase loyalty with existing clients: The HH-CAHPS can be seen as another way to show your clients you care about them, and it is largely your decision how that perception is managed. When existing patients ask about HH-CAHPS, explain to them that it is a way that you go out of your way to help them have a better experience with their care. When patients see how much you care about the quality of your care, their loyalty increases, and they are more likely to recommend you to others.

2. Bundle value-added services with HH-CAHPS: Many vendors provide other services that can be bundled as value-added products to increase your ROI. Perhaps they offer web promotion, and when packaged with HHCAHPS, it can be added with little or no extra charge. Ask your vendor what other services they provide, and if they can bundle those services together with HH-CAHPS as a value-added service.

3. Use HH-CAHPS to increase loyalty with your employees: If something negative about an individual member of your staff comes up in a survey, give feedback to them immediately and individually. Let inquiries know about the survey, and that you care about their careers and abilities. Give them suggestions on what they can improve, but always end on positive things they are doing well that you appreciate. When employees see that you sincerely care about their growth and development, their own loyalty will be increased and employee retention won't be a problem.

4. Use HH-CAHPS as a way to increase interest in your agency: When potential patients, or family members of patients call in to your agency, mention how serious you take quality assurance. You go out of your way to make sure the quality of your care is always top level.

5. Measure to improve, not to impress: Chapter 4 of Fred Lee’s book, If Disney Ran your Hospital, addresses this issue. It is tempting to use your positive results to promote yourself to your prospective clients. Once the HH-CAHPS requirement begins the market will be inundated with agencies boasting about their high satisfaction scores. While it is appropriate to explain the survey process is part of your commitment to provide the highest quality of care, patients can sense whether you are committed to their satisfaction or to your satisfaction scores. Focus on improvement and your customers will do the boasting for you.

For any additional questions, contact one of our HH-CAHPS experts at 801-293-0700 or at

--Craig Christiansen

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