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Unprecedented Spike in Patient Satisfaction Follows Launch of Public Reporting
Date:9/23/2008

Press Ganey findings support positive impact of transparency initiative

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Press Ganey Associates, Inc., the health care industry's leading provider of quality improvement solutions, today released data showing an unprecedented improvement in patient satisfaction -- a result that underscores the impact of public reporting of hospital-by-hospital satisfaction scores.

Press Ganey experts analyzed the company's proprietary patient satisfaction data -- including Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) measures -- for hospitals that began reporting HCAHPS data in March 2008, and found a dramatic upturn in patient satisfaction, which strengthens the link between public disclosure and health care quality.

The data analyzed by Press Ganey represents more than 1.5 million patients and 1,158 hospitals across the nation from January 2007 through June 2008*.

Following the first public release of HCAHPS data in March, a positive year-over-year increase in performance was seen in April. This further widened to statistically significant year-over-year increases for the months of May and June. These trends were noted both for the percentage of patients rating their hospital as a 9 or 10 as well as the percentage of patients who said they would definitely recommend the facility, which directly impacts a hospital's patient volumes and its revenue.

Press Ganey has been looking at patient satisfaction data very closely for 23 years, and these trends represent the most positive service quality delivery in inpatient care that our nation has ever experienced.

"We have always seen a slow and steady improvement in patient-centered care over the years. The HCAHPS measures show a dramatic increase timed following the public reporting which indicates that everyone really stepped up their efforts -- and the results are astounding," said Dr. Deirdre Mylod, vice president of acute services at Press Ganey. "We were anticipating that there could be such improvements on the HCAHPS measures because we've noted significant year-over-year improvements each month of 2008 for important Press Ganey concept areas such as coordination of care -- a key driver of HCAHPS results that is not included within the HCAHPS measure set."

American Hospital Association President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock commented: "Sharing information from the HCAHPS survey about patients' experience of care is one of the many ways hospitals are being transparent about the quality of care they provide. HCAHPS is useful information consumers can use to make important health care decisions, and that hospitals are using to improve the care for patients. Press Ganey's analysis shows that hospitals, doctors, and nurses care deeply about meeting patients' needs and will work to improve care in response to the thoughts and concerns of those they serve. America's hospitals will continue their efforts to share even more information on the quality of care provided to their patients."

The graphs of these Press Ganey data points are now available at http://www.pressganey.com/galleries/default-file/HCAHPS_Graphs.pdf.

Commentary from Dr. Mylod is available upon request.

HCAHPS data is available on the Hospital Compare website, http://www.HospitalCompare.hhs.gov. Hospital Compare is a consumer-oriented website that provides side-by-side information on hospital quality. This tool provides consumers with information on how well hospitals care for their adult patients with certain medical conditions or surgical procedures. This information will help patients compare the quality of care hospitals provide and will help consumers make informed decisions about their care.

Press Ganey Associates, Inc.

For more than 20 years, Press Ganey has been committed to providing insight that allows health care organizations to improve the quality of care they provide while improving their bottom-line results. The company offers the largest comparative customer feedback databases, actionable data, solution resources, and unparalleled consulting and customer service. Press Ganey currently partners with more than 7,000 health care facilities -- including over 40% of U.S. hospitals -- to measure and improve the quality of their care.

American Hospital Association

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 37,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the Web site at http://www.aha.org.

* The hospitals included in this analysis voluntarily began participating in the early implementation of HCAHPS beginning in October 2006. Participation has been linked to a hospital's reimbursement since July 2007. Press Ganey supports 1,840 hospitals in their continuous HCAHPS measurement.


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SOURCE Press Ganey Associates, Inc.
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