June 2014 | Patient Experience Matters
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Improving Patient Experience

Patients bring an important perspective to the table that no other stakeholders can. By listening and acting on feedback in a timely manner, providers can partner with patients to improve patient experience and clinical indicators of quality care. AF4Q communities work on a variety of projects that promote patient-centered care and improve patient experience. Today's edition of Spotlight showcases some examples of this work.


Washington: Consumer Voices Matter

The Washington Health Alliance recently released the results of its second patient experience survey, which measures patients’ experiences with local primary care providers. Known as Your Voice Matters, this initiative offers important insights to understanding the quality of care in the state.

Patient experience refers to what happens to people when they are interacting with the health care system and seeking to have their needs met. Patient experience surveys ask patients whether or not or how often certain events happened and not simply questions about their expectations and feelings, which can be highly subjective. Research shows that, in addition to being a factor patients and their families value highly, patient experience is also positively correlated with improved clinical outcomes.

“Before AF4Q encouraged the Alliance to undertake this work, patient experience was not a topic of serious discussion in our region,” said Susie Dade, deputy director for the Alliance. “These survey results have elevated the awareness of patient experience as a critical component of care for both providers and consumers.”

Western New York: Care Transitions Gain Ground

Patients in Western New York hospitals are having less fraught transitions from the hospital to home thanks to a community initiative. Under the leadership of the P2 Collaborative, 10 hospitals and eight community-based organizations have banded together to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions through a program called Community-based Care Transitions (CCTP). CCTP provides coaching services to Medicare fee-for-service patients who are at risk for readmission to the hospital after an acute care episode.

The goal of the Western NY CCTP is to strengthen the self-management skills of patients moving from the hospital to home while providing support by a trained coach and increasing referrals to community programs and resources. Ultimately, the intended outcome is a significant cost savings to both Medicare and the community while affording patients the best possible experience.

West Michigan: Patients with Depression Don’t Walk Through the Clinic Door

Depression can be debilitating. Major depression causes pain, disability, or even death and may also lead to workplace absenteeism. According to the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, primary care doctors detect depression in patients only about 30 to 50 percent of the time. Typically, of the patients who do receive a diagnosis of depression, between 20 and 40 percent show improvement within one year. Primary care physicians have lacked the know-how, time, and other resources to help patients with depression get the treatment they need. The DIAMOND program in West Michigan seeks to change that.

The DIAMOND program unites a physician, care manager, and consulting psychiatrist to provide team-based care for patients with depression in primary care practices. The collaborative approach helps patients achieve remission faster and helps primary care practices make important cultural and workflow changes in how they care for patients with depression. For example, patients with depression may not regularly be engaging with any care providers.

“Patients with depression don’t come in to see you, so they don’t fit the traditional model of primary care. Our model doesn’t serve this kind of patient,” explained Paul Brand, president and CEO of Alliance for Health. Practice transformation is driven by physicians’ desire to provide the best care to patients who are hard to reach.

Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care and provide models for national reform. Alliance teams represent the people who get care, give care, and pay for care.
See the newsletter archive
Aligning Forces for Quality
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Join our group Connect with us Follow Aligning Forces for Quality on RSS Follow us Subscribe to our channel
© 2015 Aligning Forces for Quality