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"Basically, we designed a patient satisfaction surveying system that can easily be used for measuring results in home infusion therapy and is applicable to home health care in general," says Carl Townsend of Fazzi Associates, a Northampton, MA, health care consulting firm.
"We’ve been involved with patient satisfaction measurement for a little over 10 years. Our system generated from consultations we did with agencies that were building total quality management systems and looking for some quality measures." Townsend says his firm’s clients were seeking nationally validated measurement so they could have a wide basis for comparison. The result of this research is Fazzi’s Pat/Stat system, which uses a national database and measures patient satisfaction through service-specific surveys.
"The survey process was standard and took about a year and a half. We first looked at re-search to see what had been said about satisfaction among home care patients. Then we went the extra step and did some focus groups with home care patients to identify what made the difference between satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Then from that information, we developed a survey and tested it nationally." Fazzi later put together software to process the survey data.
The Pat/Stat system measures performance in home infusion and IV therapy, medical equipment, hospice services, and home care. (See measures, above.) ORYX-compliant performance measures are collected using patient satisfaction surveys that are mailed to patients following discharge. Surveys for home infusion and IV therapy are returned to Fazzi Associates for data input, analysis, and reporting. Agencies participating in Pat/Stat can choose to receive quarterly or semi-annual benchmark reports that allow them to compare their performance on Joint Commission of Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) and other indicators of patient satisfaction levels. Each agency’s data has its own identifier and is stored separately in the database, and no data is released without the owner’s written permission.
|JCAHO-Approved DME/HME Performance Measures Pat/Stat National Database and Patient Satisfaction System|
|JCAHO ID Measure Type||Name||Description|
|8779 Rate-Based||Change in Condition||Percent of discharged home health patients who respond "much better" or "a little better" to the question "How would you rate your physical health and emotional condition now as compared to four weeks ago?|
|8786 Variable||Instructions Regarding Care||Mean of all discharged home health patients' responses to patient satisfaction survey item "You were given clear instructions regarding your care."|
|8791 Variable||Understandable Language||Mean of all discharged home health patients' responses to patient satisfaction survey item: "Staff used understandable language to explain your care."|
|8785 Variable||Explanation of Services||Mean of all discharged home health patients' responses to patient satisfaction survey item "Staff explained the services you would receive."|
|8803 Variable||Encouraged Questions/Concerns||Mean of all discharged home health patients' responses to patient satisfaction survey item: "Your questions and concerns were encouraged."|
The infusion patient satisfaction survey also asks if this is the patients first experience receiving home infusion therapy, and asks the discharged patients to rate the following on a scale of poor, fair, good, very good, excellent, or doesn’t apply:
• How well staff explained why infusion/IV therapy is needed.
• How knowledgeable the staff were about infusion/IV procedures, equipment, and supplies.
• How pleasant and courteous the staff were.
• The degree to which staff helped you to feel at ease about infusion/IV therapy.
• How well staff communicated changes in your infusion/IV therapy to you and other staff who cared for you.
• The quality of service you received from the nurse who provided your infusion/IV therapy services.
It also ascertains if supplies and equipment were delivered to the patient’s home when expected, and if staff informed patient whom to contact if assistance was needed with infusion/IV therapy. There is a section for overall patient satisfaction that ranges from "very dissatisfied" to "completely satisfied, couldn’t be better." Patients are also asked to describe three things they liked most about the infusion service they received and three suggestions they have for improving the services.
"Overall," Townsend says, "this survey should give any home infusion agency the information it needs to correctly benchmark its services, and by using that information your agency will grow and prosper."
[Fazzi Associates began its national benchmark database in 1995. Information on the system, which is configured for quarterly or semi-annual analysis, is available from Fazzi Associates, 243 King St., Suite 46, Northampton, MA 01061. Telephone: (800) 379-0361. Fax: (413) 584-0220. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site: www.fazzi.com. Current cost is $1,025 for semi-annual reporting and $1,475 for quarterly reporting.]