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Value of hospital environmental services linked to efficiency not expenses
Date:7/18/2011

The amount of money that hospitals spend on environmental services, such as cleaning and maintenance service is not as important in influencing patient satisfaction scores as the way the money is spent, according to Penn State researchers.

"By focusing on improving the efficiency of operations, hospitals can contribute to hospital performance while also getting the most out of the financial investments they make toward support services," said Deirdre McCaughey, assistant professor of health policy and administration, who led the research team.

The team, which also included master of health administration students Samantha Stalley, Schaeffer Charles and David Lutz, found little relationship between the amount of money that hospitals spend on environmental services and the scores they receive from patients on HCAHPS -- Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems -- surveys.

"The results were not at all what we expected," McCaughey said. "We thought that spending more money would lead to better scores, but we actually found that a balanced value equation really helps drive better performers. That is, we conclude that it is not in the best financial interest of a health care organization to just spend more money to improve HCAHPS scores, but rather to think about how that money is spent. Having a balanced value equation means organizations gain greater value by investing financial resources into operational efficiency."

Anthony Stanowski, vice president of industry relations at ARAMARK Healthcare, presented the results at the 19th Annual Health Forum and the American Hospital Association Leadership Summit July 17 in San Diego.

The HCAHPS survey is the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients' perspectives of hospital care. In the survey, patients are asked to rate the cleanliness of their room and the overall cleanliness of the hospital.

Besides providing them with valuable information ab
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Contact: Sara LaJeunesse
SDL13@psu.edu
814-863-4325
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

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