Health IT

Quality Reviews expanding mobile patient experience survey to emergency departments

Heath IT company Quality Reviews uses patient surveys to help hospitals get a better sense of the patient experience at their facilities and where it needs improvement. It’s expanding the number of providers using its patient surveys as well as the types of surveys it provides. An SMS text is sent to users’ smartphone with […]

Heath IT company Quality Reviews uses patient surveys to help hospitals get a better sense of the patient experience at their facilities and where it needs improvement. It’s expanding the number of providers using its patient surveys as well as the types of surveys it provides. An SMS text is sent to users’ smartphone with a link to the Web-based survey, Ratemyhospital.com. It claims to have a higher than average completion rate and completion rate than the paper based forms hospitals send to patients.

The company is part of the  New York Digital Health Accelerator, which is prepping for its demo day later this month.

The surveys are designed to respond to the CMS initiative as part of the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program. Although 70 percent of the survey is dedicated to clinical measures, 30 percent is focused on the patient experience. It can impact 1 percent of reimbursement for Medicare patients. Hospitals have been taking a greater interest in these Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers Survey since they were tied to reimbursement.  Hospitals are charged an annual subscription fee based on the number of discharges or hospitalizations each day.

In an interview with Quality Reviews co-founder Dr. Sonni Mun, she said the first health system to use its survey was Mount Sinai. Once users have completed the survey the file is transferred to a hospital server. “We know when the patient has been discharged. It’s all automated and seamless. Although it started with outpatients it has since expanded to inpatients. It is currently in the process of rolling out the survey to patients who come through its emergency rooms at six hospitals. It is also working on pilots with other New York hospitals. Among its partners in addition to Mount Sinai are Lutheran Family Health Centers and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Children’s Hospital of New Jersey.

It’s also in talks to conduct its first pilot outside of New York.

Mun explained that the company began adding surveys for EMS staff last month. Why? Because apart from life or death situations, EMS teams have the discretion in selecting which hospital to take patients. With so much density in New York City, that leaves a lot of options for hospitals. What leads them to pick one hospital over another? That’s what these EMS surveys will seek to determine. It’s also looking into expanding the survey into other areas such as imaging programs and phlebotomy.

Although the company claims to have at least a 15 percent response rate to the under 2 percent hospitals typically receive for these surveys, it seems like it could lose a lot of patient input by wedding the survey to a smartphone. I agree that the sense of immediacy of doing a survey on the phone makes it a lot more effective than having to have a 15 minute annoying Q&A on the phone or even getting a paper-based survey to the mailbox. But it seems like the ideal would be for patients to take this survey before they leave the hospital.

Update: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that North Shore Health System is a pilot partner. The company has not yet inked an agreement with a pilot partner outside of the New York City region.