Arbor Specializes in Telephone Mode Patient Satisfaction Surveys
Research by CMS in the development of HCAHPS clearly revealed that survey results obtained by telephone interview consistently showed higher patient satisfaction than those from mail-in questionnaires. Based on these measurable differences, a series of Mode Adjustments was published. In essence, the Mode Adjustments show what scores would have been if surveys done by telephone had been done by mail-in.
Arbor clients have found that their telephone-based HCAHPS scores typically exceed state and national averages ~
even after mode adjustment!
MODE-ADJUSTED NATIONAL AND STATE AVERAGES
Percentage of patients who rated the hospital 9 or 10 on a 0-10 scale
With all companies using the same questions for HCAHPS and contributing responses to CMS, the resulting National Comparative Database has become the definitive reference point. Any advantage that a large client base may have offered is now made obsolete.
Now with Value-Based Purchasing taking HCAHPS scores into account, hospitals across the country are realizing that telephone mode HCAHPS surveys are best for their organization. So, "Which CMS authorized survey vendor to use?"
For 30 years, Arbor’s hallmark has been intensive customer service. From the beginning, we customize each client’s surveys and reports so they are closely tailored to their specific information needs. No cookie cutters! Another important way we deliver on that promise is to make the most of our “personal conversations” with your patients. (You can be assured that Arbor’s telephone interviews are always conducted by our full-time, experienced staff. We never out-source to call centers.)
We place a great deal of effort into obtaining extensive patient comments which we report online in patients’ own words. We are convinced that it is the comments, explanations and examples that patients provide that truly inform and motivate hospital staff.
All this adds up to a simple conclusion:
Arbor’s telephone survey has the highest response rates;
Which delivers the most accurate and sensitive measure;
Which enables higher scores on CAHPS surveys and VBP;
And Arbor’s numerous patient comments will make those numbers real to your staff.
ArborOnLine allows you to access your own database and carry out any cross-references you want, whenever you want. It will also show benchmark (best practices) information for the same patient service category at other hospitals. Arbor will issue a username and password for your use on our secured interactive Internet website.
With that, you can select the service(s) you're interested in (e.g. Emergency) and define the range of dates (e.g. June 1-21, 2012). Then select the variable you want to research (e.g. day of the week) and get the satisfaction/ dissatisfaction of weekday emergency patients compared to weekend emergency patients. Or, you could see how the parents of patients aged 0-17 answered the question about satisfaction with involvement in their child's care as compared to how adults answered that question about their own care. The possibilities are endless.
If you would like to find out more about ArborOnLine, please email Larry Willis or telephone us at 1-800-272-6795.
Already have your ArborOnLine user name and password? Excellent, just go to the top of any page on this site to log on, then fill in the boxes and let's get crunching.
QualitativeThese projects are usually conducted on-site and include focus groups as well as one-on-one interviews. Focus groups are often conducted as an initial step in the design of patient expectation/satisfaction surveys. They frequently identify unique factors affecting satisfaction that may not have been considered without input from patients and/or staff.
One-on-one interviews are conducted either in person or over the telephone. They are most frequently done when detailed or sensitive input is needed from key opinion leaders.
QuantitativeWhen low response rates are anticipated and statistically reliable data is necessary, randomly sampled one-on-one telephone interviews are conducted. This is, by far, the best way to determine the expectations, attitudes and perceptions of the following groups:
Hospital inpatients and outpatients (department-specific)
Patients who visit physician offices
Patients who receive home care services
People living in the client service area
Arbor also offers written surveys and interactive online surveys to determine the attitudes and perceptions of key groups within an organization such as:
- Medical staff members
Arbor has many years of experience performing market-based analysis of inpatient and outpatient origin databases maintained by state hospital associations. In addition, we are very familiar with the various recognized means of estimating staffing requirements for primary care and specialty physicians. Arbor uses these databases to produce the following information:
The hospital's current market share for inpatient and/or outpatient services
The potential to do more of current services broken-down by zipcode, patient demographics and payor mix.
The potential demand for new services also broken-down by zipcode, patient demographics and payor mix.
The number, location and timing of recruitment requirements for primary care and specialty physicians according to the ability of the local market areas to support their practices as measured by office visit volume.
Arbor can return survey results to you as fast as you can send patient data to us!
If the hospital's IT department emails HIPAA-compliant Protected Health Information (PHI) to us once a month, Arbor will report preliminary survey results and patient comments on your ArborOnLine account in 30 days or less. If you wish to send PHI bi-weekly or even every week, Arbor's QuickTurn Service will match that with results and comments online every two weeks or every single week. The choice is yours!
If you would like to find out more out these enhancements, please email Larry Willis or telephone us at 1-800-272-6795.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Will the patient satisfaction system meet the criteria for accreditation or qualification?
- Data must be comparable within our network of services. Will we be able to compare the satisfaction levels of hospital patients with the satisfaction level of physician office patients and home care patients?
- Will the data be comparable with other organizations so that we can benchmark and set goals for improvement?
- How and by whom will assistance, such as the statistical significance of changes or interpretation and recommendations be provided, and are these services included in the pricing?
- Will the data be statistically valid and reliable in order to have credibility with employers and physicians?
- Does the analysis provide predictive indicators to help us focus our efforts on where they can have the greatest impact?
- There is a recognized balance to be achieved between national comparability and customization. How does your company achieve this balance? To what extent are the questionnaires customized and how is this done?/li>
- Generally speaking, how would you recommend we proceed with this project? Who do you suggest we survey and how often? Are there important issues/questions we should raise?/li>
- Will patients be surveyed in a timely manner after the use of a service?/li>
- How are patient complaints and issues needing immediate follow-up handled?/li>
1. Will the patient satisfaction system meet the criteria for accreditation or qualification?
Arbor's Patient Expectation Project has been used by other PEP clients to meet JCAHO and AAAHC requirements. Arbor also has developed, tested and implemented the HEDIS survey instrument to measure satisfaction of health plan enrollees in order to comply with NCQA criteria. Likewise, we are happy to add questions to be asked of all patients/users/enrollees which will assist in applying for Baldrige Awards.
2. Data must be comparable within our network of services. Will we be able to compare the satisfaction levels of hospital patients with the satisfaction level of physician office patients and home care patients?
The survey instrument is designed for use at three levels of the organization. Therefore, input will be obtained from the people who will use the survey results at each level. This will insure that statistical measures of patient satisfaction and verbatim patient comments are focused and actionable. Survey questions will fall into one of the following categories:
System Core Questions: These
questions will cover issues of concern to all patients/users/enrollees, no matter which of the system's services they may have used. Issues include such things as perceived staff competency and compassion, adequacy of information/education received, confidentiality and trust. A series of demographic questions will also be asked in order to permit cross-referencing. A composite rating of network-wide satisfaction will also be developed and tracked.
The results of the core questions will allow executives working at the system level to measure and track overall performance across all provider sites on a uniform set of issues known to matter most to patients and their families and to track the overall performance of the system over time. Comparative information from other systems will also be provided.
- Service-Specific Questions: The survey instrument will contain "modules" of questions covering issues of concern to specific groups of patients. For example, the emergency module focuses on the various elements of waiting time and keeping family members informed. Modules have already been developed and can readily be applied for doctors' offices, home care patients and many other services. A service-specific module will be asked of all patients receiving that service at any of the system provider sites. The results of these questions will allow system managers to compare service-specific patient satisfaction across all provider sites using a consistent measurement tool which is sensitive to the concerns unique to different patient groups. Service-specific results may also be useful in marketing the ability of the system's providers to deliver a consistent level of patient satisfaction wherever care is offered.
- Provider-Specific Questions: In order to make the most of the opportunity for significant patient feedback, the third level of survey design will permit service managers at individual sites to ask questions of unique concern to them. For example, if the manager of one of the physician offices is considering remodeling the waiting room we can insert questions on patient preference. Once the issue has been addressed, these questions can be deleted from the survey and others substituted as necessary.
3. Will the data be comparable with other organizations so that we can benchmark and set goals for improvement?
Arbor currently provides comparative in three ways: internally across the hospital's services, statewide, and regionally. The hospital is able to select members of its comparative group and from among other Arbor clients. It is possible to compare satisfaction ratings at the service-specific level with other hospitals and other integrated delivery systems. Arbor intends to provide national data from H-CAHPS as soon as data is available.
4. How and by whom will assistance, such as the statistical significance of changes or interpretation and recommendations, be provided and are these services included in the pricing?
Hospital staff will not be expected to perform tasks such as mailings, reminders, transcribing patient comments etc. Instead, a regular reporting system will be established with the data processing department to electronically provide Arbor with information about patients on a regular basis. Arbor randomly selects patients from these files for interview. No other tasks or expenses are required of hospital personnel to maintain the project.
Arbor will make an on-site Power Point presentation of each report and provide extensive discussion and interpretation. Also, examples of what other hospitals have done to address similar issues will be cited. Contact people and telephone numbers of other Patient Expectation Project clients are readily available for inter-hospital networking. In addition, Arbor hosts a Patient Expectation Project Client Seminar each fall at which many useful presentations and discussions take place between new and experienced PEP users.
5. Will the data be statistically valid and reliable in order to have credibility with employers and physicians?
We feel most confident using telephone interviews conducted by our trained staff to avoid unintentional bias and to maximize accuracy. Because our experience shows that 88% - 92% of the patients we contact will complete the interview, we can virtually eliminate the danger of sampling bias that comes with a written questionnaire where response rates are typically 15% - 25%.
The quality of Arbor's telephone interviews allows us to make extensive use of open-ended questions throughout the survey. We find that this type of qualitative question is most productive as a follow-up to a quantitative question. Open-ended responses are recorded and reported verbatim in order to give the "feeling" behind the numbers.
Strict adherence to random sampling methodology, the distribution of interviews over several-month intervals, and rigorous statistical analysis assure the credibility of the PEP survey results.
6. Does the analysis provide predictive indicators to help us focus our efforts on where they can have the greatest impact?
A negative response to one or more of a panel of four key indicators will result in a patient being classified as dissatisfied with care overall. The hospital-wide percentage of satisfied/dissatisfied patients and the percentage in each service will be calculated for each report. Internal baseline levels of satisfaction will be established for each service to be studied. These baselines will be used to trend internal, service-specific changes in patient satisfaction over time.
The survey instrument will cover all aspects of patients' experiences. Multiple regression analysis of the responses of the "dissatisfied" patients will enable Arbor to pick out the key elements which most directly impact overall satisfaction/ dissatisfaction. These are the "hot buttons" which, when they go well in a patient's experience, can overcome lesser frustrations or disappointments. These are also the things that can wipe out all the positive things that may have happened if they go wrong. Managers can reinforce the things staff is doing which build satisfaction and loyalty. The "dissatisfiers" become the focus for quality improvement teams to work on. Subsequent survey iterations will measure the success of the efforts.
7. There is a recognized balance to be achieved between national comparability and customization. How does your company achieve this balance? To what extent are the questionnaires customized and how is this done?
Each project is different. Each is tailored to the needs of the client and changes as those needs change. Yet, survey instruments have a lot in common across clients because their patients do. In this way, we can ensure extensive comparability of results.
At the beginning of the project, considerable effort will be made to "customize" the survey instrument to the information needs of executives and the managers of each service to be studied. Nevertheless, we strongly encourage the continual revision of the survey instrument. Additional questions can be inserted on a service-specific or organization-wide basis at any time. In addition, we will review the survey once a year to suggest improvements to question formats, new issues to look into and any unproductive questions that can be dropped. There is never any charge for revising the survey.
Through focus group discussions, patients have been involved in the design of the survey instrument for all of the service-specific modules and "bookend" questions. Arbor also offers the option of conducting additional patient focus groups as an added source of the input into the survey instrument.
8. Generally speaking, how would you recommend we proceed with this project? Who do you suggest we survey and how often? Are there important issues/questions we should raise?
The overall purpose of the Patient Expectation Project is to reinforce the things the hospital is doing that create satisfaction and build loyalty and to identify and change the things patients don't like.
Most would agree that people and institutions don't change behaviors on a monthly or even quarterly basis. Formal reports compiled too frequently will not give enough time for statistically significant changes to take place. Since real change rarely can be measured after every month or quarter, overly frequent reporting is not cost-effective.
We generally recommend that interviews be spread over a 3-month period to avoid unusual or seasonal factors. For most services a frequency of two formal reports per year is recommended. By distributing the calls evenly over several months, we can avoid the impact of specific short-lived events such as a pediatric flu epidemic in January or a rash of sports injuries in July. By reporting two times per year rather than four, we can reduce the cost of the PEP without sacrificing accuracy, sensitivity or utility.
While the formal, detailed statistical report along with the comparative information is usually prepared and presented twice each year, all patient comments to open-ended questions are available to the hospital through weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly updates to ArborOnLine. In fact, Arbor keeps patients in touch with providers in three ways.
- Daily notifications of any survey respondents requesting a call to discuss a concern.
- Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly updates to ArborOnLine providing numerical reports and verbatim patient comments.
- Semi-annually formal, detailed written reports and presentations will be delivered on-site. While it is certainly possible to separately survey each category of service at each provider site, that would be neither cost-effective nor worthwhile. Arbor's experience in this field is that meeting or exceeding patient expectations is more difficult for some services than others. On the inpatient side for example, the parents of pediatric patients are often most anxious, want to be involved in their child's care and are generally more difficult to support. Similarly on the outpatient side, emergency patients are difficult to please because they are intolerant of waiting times and often highly stressed. For these types of patients, we recommend surveying at the service-specific level in order to keep patients in close touch with providers.
Other services which typically are low-stress, such as routine outpatient radiology or laboratory testing, can be surveyed as a single category. There is no need to expend the resources required to survey each modality separately unless special circumstances so indicate. Of course, special initiatives such as the offering of a new service or the marketing of an existing one may dictate service-specific surveying for other purposes.
The second design consideration is how often to repeat the survey within a year. Services known to be difficult or to have volatile patient satisfaction or ones where a "before and after" measurement is needed should be surveyed at least two times per year. In contrast, other services with low volume or a stable patient group such as home care, skilled nursing or physician office practices need only be surveyed once per year. For these services, one survey per year will suffice for internal management purposes and for accreditation requirements.
9. Will patients be surveyed in a timely manner after the use of a service?
The PEP survey instrument is a detailed chronological review of the many elements of a patient's experience. Therefore, it is necessary to contact patients soon after going home when recall is at its highest. The preferred method of conducting the telephone interview is for the data processing department to provide Arbor with a computer file after the close of each month containing information on patients who used the services included in the survey during that month. The hospital is encouraged to add nursing unit, DRG, ICD-9-CM codes, physician identifiers, or any other information to the record which can later be used for cross-references. Four attempts - two weekday and two evening/weekend - will be made to complete the random sample of interviews.
Under Arbor's QuickTurn Service the hospital may provide us with data as frequently as they are able. Arbor will update data and patient comments to ArborOnLine on that same schedule. For example, if we receive patient data on Wednesdays, then by the following Wednesday patient comments and survey counts for that week will be available.
10. How are patient complaints and issues needing immediate follow-up handled?
Each telephone interview begins by assuring respondents that their answers are anonymous. Each interview will conclude by asking the respondent if they have any unresolved issues that they wish to have someone from the hospital call them about. If so, they will then be explicitly asked for permission to give their name and telephone number to the hospital for follow-up. They will also be asked to briefly describe the nature of the issue (donations, billing, personnel, lost and found, etc.) so the appropriate person can prepare for the call. The names, numbers and nature of the issues will be faxed or e-mailed to a pre-designated person at the hospital that same day for daytime interviews, or the next business day for evening or weekend interviews. Modifications to this methodology can be made to facilitate its use for risk management, if desired.
Employee Attitude Survey
The principal objective of the Employee Attitude Survey is to develop statistically valid baseline data on the morale, expectations and concerns of a hospital's employees. The analysis of the database will identify the key aspects of an employee's experience which are the best predictors of overall job satisfaction resulting in commitment to the hospital and willingness to recommend it to others as an employer of choice.
In essence, the project is designed to pinpoint specific positive elements which build employee commitment and to specifically identify negative elements which correlate with unhappiness or unwillingness to recommend the hospital as an employer. Efforts by hospital management to encourage positive elements and change negative ones can help employees' actual experiences meet their expectations to maximize productivity, quality of service delivery and reputation and to minimize turnover and absenteeism.
The Employee Attitude Survey can be conducted as a written, mail-in questionnaire, as a personal telephone interview or as a confidential online survey over any internet-connected computer.
And with ArborOnLine, you can drill-down into the survey results for any question, pull up associated employee comments and even find out which hospital is the benchmark along with their contact information.
For proposal information please contact Arbor Associates, Inc. by calling 1-800-272-6795.
Patient Satisfaction Survey
The overall purpose of Arbor's Patient Expectation Project is to measure how closely people's experiences as patients met their expectations as customers.
The Patient Expectation Project will show how each department's patients answered each question with maximum statistical accuracy. This quantitative presentation will also include comparative benchmarking information with the same department at other hospitals.
In addition to statistically valid reporting, at the hospital-wide and service-specific levels, the Patient Expectation Project will also provide the actual comments, explanations or examples given by patients in response to open-ended follow-up questions throughout the survey. These verbatim messages directly from the patients leave no about what patients expect in order to be satisfied and how best to meet or exceed these expectations.
And with ArborOnLine, you can drill-down into the survey results for any question, pull up associated patient comments and even find out which hospital is the benchmark along with their contact information- all in near-real time.
The key to success: Nursing unit or department level reporting of accurate survey results and supporting patient comments - with statistically significant sample sizes - is only possible because the patient expectation project is conducted as a personal telephone interview with the patient themselves.
HCAHPS Integration: Arbor has been cooperating with CMS in the development of the "Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems" (HCAHPS) survey and is fully capable of conducting its dry run and national implementation.
For proposal information please contact Arbor Associates, Inc. by calling 1-800-272-6795.
Medical Staff Satisfaction Survey
Arbor is experienced at designing and conducting note surveys of hospital medical staffs. Issues typically include the level to which services provided by the hospital meet, exceed or fall short of physicians' expectations. Areas surveyed include facilities, professional support staff, hospital-based physician services and administration. Occasionally, focus group discussions with doctors precede the design of the survey in order to seek input and secure participation. Frequently, representatives of the medical staff are involved along with administration in the design of the survey instrument.
The Medical Staff Satisfaction Survey can be conducted as a written, mail-in questionnaire, as a personal telephone interview or as a confidential online survey over any internet-connected computer. Analysis and reporting is done with total anonymity.
And with ArborOnLine, you can drill-down into the survey results for any question, pull up associated physician comments.
For proposal information please contact Arbor Associates, Inc. by calling 1-800-272-6795.
Community Attitude Survey
The value of community opinion research is well accepted in the health care field. There is little question of the need to keep abreast of attitudes and awareness concerning the hospital's competitive position and to anticipate response to its initiatives. Arbor recommends that a Community Attitude Survey of the attitudes and awareness of the population served by the hospital be conducted in order to compile a database which will permit valid statistical analysis. In this type of opinion research, the foundation of a valid database is random sampling. The inherent bias of a written, mail-back questionnaire disqualifies it for use in most cases. The most effective field research technique for a base-line study like this one is telephone surveying.
And with ArborOnLine, you can drill-down into the survey results for any question and pull up any associated comments.
For proposal information please contact Arbor Associates, Inc. by calling 1-800-272-6795.
Privacy and Legal Statement
Arbor Associates, Inc., will use reasonable efforts to maintain accurate and up-to-date information within this web site but makes no warranties or representations of any kind, including this site's accuracy or completeness. Arbor shall not be liable for damages of any kind arising out of your access, inability to access, or subsequent use of the content or information within www.arbor-associates.com. This site may contain technical inaccuracies or typographical errors and is subject to change at any time without notice.
Arbor Associates, Inc., reserves the right to change product specifications at any time without incurring obligations. The materials included in this site may not be copied or distributed and may not be modified or reposted to other sites. All materials--including data, text, images, graphics, animation, videos, music, and sound--in this site are subject to copyrights and other intellectual property rights of Arbor Associates, Inc., its affiliated companies and its licensors. Arbor Associates, Inc., owns the copyrights in the selection, coordination and arrangement of materials in this site.
The Arbor name, trademarks and logo(s) displayed in this site are owned or used under license by Arbor Associates, Inc. The unauthorized use of any trademark displayed in this site is prohibited.
Information Regarding Arbor Associates, Inc.'s Privacy Practices
The amount and type of information received about you during visits to our web site depends on how you use our site.
Normal Web Site Usage
You can visit Arbor's web site to read product and company information without telling us who you are or revealing any personal information.
The only information we collect and store during normal web site usage is the name of your Internet service provider, the web site you last visited, the pages you request and the date and time of those requests. We use this information to generate statistics and measure site activity to improve the usefulness of customer visits. During normal web site usage, we do not collect or store personally identifiable information such as name, mailing address, e-mail address or phone number.
Collection of Personally Identifiable Information
Arbor only collects personally identifiable information during the interactive database sign-up where you intend to participate in interactive on-line data analysis. This information, such as name, facility you represent, e-mail address, user name and password, and type of request, is collected and stored by Arbor in a manner appropriate to the nature of the data and is used to fulfill your request. Whenever we request such information, we will provide a concise explanation about how it will be used. The information you provide is used by Arbor to improve the products and services we provide. This information will never be used for marketing or promotional purposes. If you inform us that the information should not be used as a basis for further contact, we will respect your request. This information will not be provided to any other company for that company's independent use.
Arbor's Internet Services
To use Arbor's Internet Services, such as our interactive database, we may require a certain amount of personally identifying information (e.g. name, facility you represent and e-mail address) that we can use to verify that you are an Arbor Client, to identify and access data in our current relationship with you, or to provide you with requested services. We request a standard U.S. mailing address as an alternative means of contacting you. Providing this address is optional.
Electronic Mail Sent to us that Contains Personal Information
Internet users may decide to send Arbor personally identifying information, for example, in a message containing information about an Arbor service. Arbor will only use this information to identify the user as an Arbor client and to determine how to respond to the electronic mail. We will not use this information other than to resolve the matter identified in the e-mail.
Contact Arbor Associates
|Address:||1349 US 131 South|
|Petoskey, MI 49770|
Focus Group Study
Focus groups consisting of six to eight participants, lasting approximately 90 minutes, can be convened for a variety of purposes. In-depth discussions can be directed at issues affecting patient satisfaction or at various internal and external marketing initiatives. Also, focus group guidance can be sought after a statistically-based survey has been done in order to clarify any ambiguous findings of critical importance. Arbor's focus group projects always include the labor-intensive activity of recruiting participants as well as conducting the discussions. Complete written reports will be prepared comparing findings across groups as well as detailing what took place at each group. An on-site presentation by the facilitator/report author is always included.
For proposal information please contact Arbor Associates, Inc. by calling 1-800-272-6795.
Analysis of Market Share
Arbor Associates' market share studies support clients' planning processes by providing the most current share levels and trend analysis available. Findings are reported by product line as well as principal payment source.
Market Share by Community
By utilizing available statewide inpatient databases, the communities (zip codes) from which patients are admitted to the hospital can be identified. It is also possible to determine the number of patients discharged from other hospitals from each zip code. Analysis will performed at the DRG-specific level, including patients of all ages and payors. Results will be shown by DRG with aggregates by Major Diagnostic Category (MDC). The principal result of this analysis is to identify the hospital's market share in each community. However, rather than calculate the percentage of all discharges from the service area irrespective of diagnosis, the analysis will focus only on those DRGs treatable at the hospital. By so doing, a set of true market share figures can be calculated which reflect the competitive position of the hospital and its medical staff for those services which are actually provided. These figures will be undiluted by discharges for services not provided which may include open-heart surgery, organ transplant, etc.
Potential for Additional Discharges
A second result of the Analysis of Market Share is the identification of additional potential discharges. These figures result from subtracting the number of discharges the hospital recorded for each treatable DRG from the total number of discharges for that DRG in the service area. These discharges represent potential additional patients which the medical staff and the hospital are already prepared to treat.
Potential for New Services
A third result of the Analysis of Market Share is to identify the DRGs not previously treated which have the highest potential volume and to rank them for possible development as new services.
Analysis by Payor
Finally, the analysis will permit a cross-reference of the data by principle payment source. This will result in a further prioritization among current and new lines of service according to those with the greatest potential volume and the best payor mix. Because the output of this part of the study is presented in terms which closely match certain physician specialties, it has direct application to the recruitment process as well. Possible enhancements to the Analysis of Market Share include multi-year trend analysis and the identification of the market share and payor mix of competing hospitals.
Strategic Medical Staff Plan
Arbor Associates, Inc. has developed a market-based approach to medical staff planning. This technique will identify the number, location and type of physicians required to meet the needs of the residents of a hospital's service area. The need for primary care and specialty physicians is expressed in terms of the ability of the communities to generate sufficient office visit volume to support their practices.
Primary Care Physicians: Current and Projected
Successful recruitment and retention of primary care physicians to meet the needs of one or more communities depends on the ability of these communities to support their practices. This ability is best measured in terms of the office visit volume which each community can be expected to generate. Such a market-based approach to medical staff planning must also take into account the influence of the practices of existing physicians. Based on the location of all existing primary care physician offices, irrespective of hospital affiliation, a series of primary care service areas (PCSA) will be developed surrounding the hospital. These PCSAs will be designed to maximize patient convenience by minimizing travel time from home to the office location. For each PCSA, the model will define the geographic boundaries, the population, the number of primary care office visits and the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) primary care physicians which could be supported in the current year. Similar information will be produced for five years in the future. Projects will take possible reduction in FTE or retirement into account. In addition, for strategic planning purposes, the model will identify any potential new service areas not currently served by a primary care physician, specifying its geographic extent, population, and office visit demand.
Specialty Care Physicians: Current and Projected
The estimation of the number and variety of specialists which can be supported by the service area population is derived by similar market-based means. The approach is based on the assumption that specialists generally receive patients through referrals from primary care physicians.
Age/sex-specific office visit rates for each type of specialist are applied to the combined population served by the referring primary care physicians on the staff of the hospital. Alternative scenarios of medical staff composition will be prepared which reflect the strategic placement opportunities for primary care physicians identified in the first part of the study. The results will identify the number and type of physician specialists who can be supported by different degrees of aggressiveness in physician recruitment. Figures will be developed for the current population and for the population projected for five years in the future. In areas where significant increases in the elderly population (who require higher amounts of health care) are anticipated, the age-specific adjustments of this technique are particularly important.
Once complete, the Strategic Medical Staff Plan is intended as a guide for the current and future number, location, and type of physicians whose practices best meet the needs of the population. It can also be used as supportive material for recruitment efforts and as a strategic plan for expansion and/or protection of market share.
Arbor Associates designed its import process to be able to accept a variety of file formats from many home health software solutions for HH-CAHPS patient data. Home health agencies need to choose a survey vendor that is flexible yet stable, reliable, and scalable. Arbor works with many software company’s formats, including:
- Home Care Software Solutions
- Press Ganey
- Synergy (SHP Free format)
If your data is in a different format, Arbor will happily work with your agency to accept that data format as well, usually at no additional cost.
Arbor Associates, Inc.
Since 1982, Arbor Associates, Inc. has pursued its mission of creating insight for hospitals across the country via our customized opinion research studies. Foremost among these is Arbor's Patient Expectation Project. This ongoing survey provides our clients with accurate patient satisfaction information at the level of individual Inpatient and Outpatient units or departments and compares it with information from the same units/departments at similar hospitals.
Survey information is collected via personal telephone interviews with recent patients. Due to its far higher response rates, telephone-based surveys are well recognized as the best way to obtain a randomized survey sample. This allows for far greater statistical accuracy with smaller sample sizes - which helps control costs.
Arbor's telephone-based methodology consistently produces accurate and actionable statistical findings which executives and managers can rely upon, plus extensive patient comments which clarify for staff what patients truly appreciated about the care they received and what could have been done to improve their satisfaction.
The ArborForum is an electronic discussion group specifically for Patient Expectation Project (PEP) users. Here's how it works: Just email any PEP-related question or comment to ForumModerator@arbor-associates.com. All questions plus any responses received will be distributed by email to all other users. It's that simple. There is no topic too large or small, so why not email now?