Although recent changes in health care delivery are targeted at improving physician-to-patient relationships and reforming payment models, those who manage and care for a health facility's physical environment also are key to increased patient satisfaction.
Whether it's a facility manager, in-house construction supervisor or environmental services leader, we've seen these roles change or expand in accordance with new regulations and a shifting focus that views patients as consumers.
In our 2017 Salary Survey — which surveys professionals who manage health care's physical environment — 54 percent of our respondents noted that their incentive compensation was tied to performance initiatives and outcomes. Of that 55 percent, 75 percent said patient satisfaction scores/HCAHPS was the No. 2 metric tied to their incentive compensation. Meeting budgetary goals was No. 1 at 90 percent.
The goal to increase patient satisfaction can play out in many ways among health care facility professionals. For instance, in a feature on design for pediatric behavioral health facilities, Stephanie Reem, CID, CHID, EDAC, LEED AP ID+C, senior interior designer at BWBR, Saint Paul, Minn., says three important questions designers should ask when designing these types of facilities are: What can the design do to make children feel comfortable? How can the design make parents feel confident that they are making the right decision? What can design do to create the safest environment for effective treatment?
More and more, environmental services (ES) professionals are also becoming acutely aware of the role they play in patient satisfaction. James Merlino, M.C., president and chief medical officer of the strategic consulting division at Press Ganey Associates Inc., South Bend, Ind., believes the ES department is essential to keeping patient-centered promises. He says that "health care is a team sport, making effective collaboration among staff members who are directly or indirectly involved in delivering patient care a strategic necessity. Each member contributes to the whole of the enterprise in a meaningful and valuable way."