Associations Between Nonclinical Services and Patient-Experience Outcomes in US Acute Care Hospitals

Link to article at PubMed

J Patient Exp. 2020 Dec;7(6):1086-1093. doi: 10.1177/2374373519892770. Epub 2019 Dec 11.


BACKGROUND: Patient experience is an important measure of hospital quality and performance. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, patient experiences with their care encounters are embedded into the framework of payment incentives. However, drivers of patient experience in the context of the supportive, nonclinical, services that relate to patient care have not been as well understood.

AIMS: To assess the role of organizational factors on patient experience.

METHODS: This cross-sectional analysis integrates hospital patient-experience scores from Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, and Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Service data from 2013 to 2015 (N = 3392). Based on hospitals with "top-box" responses, the aggregate proportion of hospital patients responding "always" on a Likert scale represented a top-box hospital. Domains were split at the mean for analysis (above average = 1). Multivariable logistic regression models for each domain were analyzed against hospital factors and services, including offering a patient education center, patient-enabling services, and language services.

RESULTS: Most hospitals reported a full-time hospitalist (64.4%) and a patient education center (60.4%), while fewer provided enabling/support services (33.7%). In multivariable models, small and medium hospitals performed better compared to the largest hospitals (300+ beds; P < .0001). Structurally, medium and small hospitals reported significantly greater odds of top-box patient-experience versus large hospitals. Across all domains, only hospitals with patient education centers returned better performance (adjusted odds ratio: 1.27-1.64; P = .0002-.0166).

DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Patient education centers provide relevant information at the point of service and may improve overall patient experience of care. Given the growing reliance on accountable care delivery models, opportunities to partner with community health education partners may be profitable.

PMID:33457549 | PMC:PMC7786719 | DOI:10.1177/2374373519892770

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