2014 May

3 keys to Reid’s dramatically improved HCAHPS scores

Posted by | Customer Focus Inc., HCAHPS, Patient Experience, Patient Satisfaction, Patient's Voice | No Comments

Reid’s beautiful facilities alone were not enough to raise HCAHPS scores; staff had to get involved, too. (Reid photo)

Improved morale and better communication can be hard to  measure, even if they lead to measurable HCAHPS improvements.

But at Reid Hospital, our client in Richmond, Ind., all these good things have happened, thanks to a strong commitment from upper management and buy-in throughout the institution. Not to mention something that looks a little bit like fun in the midst of a serious business.

Those all-important HCAHPS scores? Up from a composite score of 28 before 2011, to 72 today. (And that includes value-based purchasing scores, too.)

Raising those scores required a sea change for Reid. Back in 2007, the hospital opened an outpatient care center and medical center, followed a year later by a new inpatient tower. Patient room sizes doubled, and visitors got wireless access, computer kiosks, pull-out sleeping couches and more.

“We had lots of amenities,” says LuAnne Christofaro, executive director of nursing and former director of Patient Experience/Service Excellence, “and we thought that automatically our HCAHPS would go up, but they didn’t. We decided we needed a wholesale culture change.We realized it was not the things, it was about the people. If they aren’t there to connect those nice things, nobody appreciates [the nice things].”

At a recent AONE conference, Christofaro presented ideas for how other healthcare leaders might be able to follow in their footsteps. Read More

Illinois Poison Control Center awaits governor’s signature

Posted by | Illinois Poison Control, Illinois Poison Control Center | 2 Comments

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 3.06.17 PMThe granddaddy of all state-run poison control centers this year had announced it would close in July since has been running at a deficit since 2009.  But at the end of May, both the Illinois House and Senate finalized legislation to provide the center with a reliable source of funding. The bill now awaits a signature from Governor Pat Quinn.

The Illinois Poison Control Center, currently a program of the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC),  opened in 1953 and was the first in the nation. The organization operates a confidential 24-hour hotline.

The IPC is a national thought leader and works to educate physicians and other health care professionals, according to Janine Sheedy, a spokesperson with the Illinois Poison Control Center.

“Ten percent or more of the residents who enter medical toxicology have their roots in training with the IPC and Toxikon,” she said, “and the IPC is one of the largest developers of academic medical toxicologists in the nation.” Read More

Well intentioned but unworkable – mandated ratios in Massachusetts

Posted by | Brigham and Women's Hospital, Health Leaders Media, Healthcare Cost Savings, Healthcare Data, Massachusetts Hospitals, Midnight Census, Nurse Patient Ratios, Nursing Staff, Patient Care, Patient Census, Patient Safety | One Comment

staffing imageThe mandated nurse-patient staffing ratios discussion is heating up in Massachusetts, where the proposed Patient Safety Act would set the maximum number of patients that could be cared for by hospital nurses.

In an article in Health Leaders Media, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United said it was an “out and out unmitigated lie” that mandated ratios would be too expensive and rigid.

But the debate is far from one-sided among the nursing community. Read More

People who work in glass hospitals

Posted by | Healthcare Cost Savings, Healthcare Data, Healthcare Transparency, Hospital Finance, Tracking Costs | No Comments

Medical billThe drumbeat for transparent healthcare costs gets louder with each passing month. With the Affordable Care Act now in place, and many patients facing higher deductibles, consumers are paying attention to healthcare price tags like never before.

In a survey of more than 1,000 insured patients, Transunion Healthcare found that 55 percent have been scrutinizing their medical bills, and costs are impacting their opinions about the quality of care and their choice in providers.

According to an article in, when respondents were asked to rank the relative importance of considerations when choosing a provider, cost transparency was ranked second, right after “world class specialists and technology.”

No small factor has been the fact that last May, Read More

Why every week is Nurses Week.

Posted by | Nurses Week, Nursing Careers, Nursing History, Nursing Staff, Uncategorized | No Comments

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 10.06.04 AMNursing has come a very long way since the Crimean War, when Florence Nightingale first decried the horrific conditions that were killing wounded soldiers.

At the Nash Group, we have a particular fondness for this crusading nurse, because she was also a pioneering mathematician who focused her interest in data on health care. Among many other firsts, she is credited for developing visual representations of statistics, and is considered the inventor of the pie chart.  She also used the equivalent of a circular histogram to illustrate the seasonal causes of soldier mortality. Later she made a statistical study of sanitation in India and was instrumental in improving public health in that country.

Today, with a rapidly changing healthcare scenario, nurses are once again helping to forge a path, stepping up with increased clinical responsibilities, getting more education and professional credits, and finding ways to provide better care with fewer resources.  For that reason and many more, the Nash Group is proud to celebrate Florence Nightingale’s birthday, May 12, and National Nurses Week, May 6-12.

Here are some facts about nursing and Florence Nightingale that you might not have known: Read More