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Consumer feedback can help hospitals reduce malpractice

Hospitals have access to more feedback from patients and family members than ever. Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) consumer satisfaction surveys are used by the federal government to help determine how much funding they get from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Patients and their families also have a wide variety of social media resources for providing and seeking feedback. There are also patient care apps and other methods of letting health care facilities (and those who may be considering using them) know about their experiences.

Hospitals are using this data to help them improve the patient experience by understanding their expectations and what they value most when they're in the hospital. Patient feedback also helps them lower the risk of medical malpractice, attract more patients and (as noted) increase their government funding.

Hospitals can use this consumer feedback to help them in a number of key areas, including:

  • More personalized care: This includes establishing an emotional connection. Patients want to be treated as individuals and not just another chart.
  • Improving communication: Patients want their team members to be on the same page. Electronic health records can help improve communication among staff on different shifts who are caring for a patient. Communications breakdowns too often lead to preventable medical errors.
  • Lower readmission rates: Almost 25 percent of hospital readmissions occur within a month after the patient's discharge. By working to spot potential risks and educating patients and family about post-discharge care and medications, health care professionals can minimize complications.
  • Improving staff morale: This, along with the points noted above, can help reduce preventable medical errors>

If you have a choice of hospitals for treatment and you're able to do a little research on nearby facilities, you can choose the one that is well-rated. However, that's not always an option. No matter how superior a facility and its doctors and nurses are, problems can occur due to negligence or poor decisions.

Mississippi's statute of limitation for malpractice is two years from either the act or the discovery of the malpractice. If you believe that you or a loved one may have a medical malpractice case, it's important to seek legal guidance as soon as possible.

Source: Amplion, "5 Ways Hospitals Can Use Data to Enhance Patient Experience," Brenda Aubin, RN BSN, accessed May 02, 2018

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