Case Study: McLeod Health reboots rounding and raises ratings

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Sometimes when you look in the mirror, what you see doesn’t seem to reflect the person — or organization — you really are. Early in 2016, McLeod Health took a long, hard look at its scores on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Survey and didn’t like what it saw. It was at or above goal in only two of eight dimensions.

Let’s be clear about this: McLeod Health’s brand is synonymous with excellence. Its Healthgrades rankings are perched in the Top 5% nationally for General Surgery, Vascular Surgery and Cardiovascular Services. Healthgrades has named it a 5-Star Recipient for the Treatment of Heart Attack, Stroke, and Total Knee Replacement. Just as important, wherever you go in the 15 counties McLeod serves in northeastern South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina, pretty much everyone will tell you that there’s no better place to be treated when you need first-rate medical care. So, where was the disconnect between those cozy community connections and McLeod’s HCAHPS scores?

With Care Delivery Measures, the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ are just as important as the ‘what’

McLeod Health has always been a tightly knit, relationship-based organization, which naturally led to the conclusion that leveraging its culture would be the key to improving its performance. “To improve our scores, we knew we would have to redesign the way we approach our work, and that we would be asking people to move out of their comfort zones,” says Cathy Lee, MBA, CPXP, Vice President for Service Excellence. “But we also knew that, because people are so invested in our culture of excellence, they would make the effort.”

That meant McLeod would be asking caregivers not only to embrace a new way of doing things but also to rethink how they interact with patients and their families. “Nurse leader rounding helps us touch patient experience across the hospital,” says Service Excellence Process Manager Kerry Anderson, RN, BSN, CMSRN. And that’s why McLeod decided to target efforts there, where they would have the most impact.

Rounding had become rote and routine, like wallpaper. “We had to recreate rounding because we had fallen into the habit of checking off boxes on a list, and we weren’t truly focusing on the patient’s experience,” Anderson says. So McLeod Health set out to turn checklists into conversations, leveraging its culture to gain staff buy-in for building relationships to enhance the patient

The Challenge

  • Improve patient experience
  • Increase HCAHPS scores
  • Leverage culture to drive change

The Strategy

  • Rethink and redesign the way work is done
  • Reboot nurse leader rounding
  • Make “memorable” patient experiences meaningful

The Results

  • Higher HCAHPS scores
  • Higher levels of compliance
  • Conversations rather than checklists
  • Deeper, more meaningful relationships with patients and their families

Click here to download this compelling case study and see exactly how McLeod Health executed a striking turnaround in patient satisfaction while creating a sustainable train-the-trainer approach to performance improvement.

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