Have you heard of the terms patient experience, patient satisfaction, HCAHPS, or value-based purchasing? Have you wondered what your role is in patient satisfaction and the patient experience? Hospitals have collected information on patient satisfaction for years; it was not until the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was passed in March 2010 that healthcare providers were obligated to improve the quality, efficiency, and overall value of the care they provide and report it publicly. Patient experience and patient satisfaction have been used interchangeably; while certainly interconnected, the phrases have evolved in terms of how they are evaluated and applied in performance improvement. As healthcare continues to move toward pay-for-performance models, dietitians and foodservice professionals must continue to transform the patient experience and improve patient satisfaction through patient food, retail services, and clinical nutrition to enhance quality, safety, and maintain/grow their market share in the community.
Julie Charnosky, MS, RD, LDN, is a clinical dietitian and the owner of Start Fresh Nutrition. She has worked in clinical nutrition management and food service operations throughout her career and was a department leader in her hospital for QAPI using the lean management system.
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