Case Studies

CEP America Raises Patient Experience Scores while Boosting Core Measures Performance

Saint Louise Regional Hospital

Hospital Beds 93
Annual ED Visits 26700
ED Beds 10

At Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, California, CEP America has demonstrated how strong physician leadership can help hospitals to thrive in a value-based purchasing (VBP) environment by maximizing core measures and patient satisfaction scores.

Driven by CEP America’s physician leadership, innovation and collaborative culture, the care teams at Saint Louise's emergency department (ED) achieved a significant boost in their patient satisfaction scores in just six months. In the same period, physician-driven initiatives cut time to provider (TTP) by half and turnaround time to discharge (TAT-D) by 16 percent.

Pamela Stuart, MD, Medical Director of Saint Louise's ED, drew upon her leadership training with CEP America and strong alliance with the hospital's nursing leadership to execute an effective improvement program. The stakes for success were especially high given that Saint Louise’s tiny 8-bed ED cares for about 30,000 patients annually.

“We have to keep our patient throughput optimal,” Stuart says. "That drives many of our initiatives as far as making sure our patients are getting high-quality care as efficiently as possible."

While capacity has always been an issue at Saint Louise, new VBP requirements upped the stakes considerably. To maximize CMS core measure performance, Stuart and Emergency Services Director Robert Schambach, RN, focused on developing processes that moved patients efficiently through the department while maximizing team cohesion. Building upon established operational processes like Rapid Medical Evaluation (RME)® and Quick Emergency Disposition (QED), Stuart and Schambach displayed ED core measure scores in common areas and reviewed their progress at department, staff and medical executive committee (MEC) meetings.

Under VBP, hospitals are reimbursed based on their patient satisfaction scores, as well as core measures. So, Stuart and Schambach focused on creating a series of intentional patient-provider conversations across the Acute Care Continuum. All Saint Louise ED patients now receive a card that displays their physician’s picture, a welcoming message inviting questions and concerns and a personalized menu of procedure wait times.
Stuart says the cards provide a welcome touch point in a hectic environment: "Just reading the card makes patients feel more supported."

The care teams also ramped up their follow-up efforts, drawing on CEP America’s best practices. With support from the nursing staff, the ED team called 80 to 100 percent of their patients within 72 hours of discharge to request feedback, answer questions and troubleshoot issues. And the team’s efforts were reflected in their patient satisfaction scores, which climbed 9 percent to 4.33 in just six months.

Thanks to their success at improving core measures performance and patient satisfaction, the care teams at Saint Louise ED have met 100 percent of their VBP criteria this year. What's more, the efforts of CEP America's physician leaders were showcased in the hospital's monthly administrative report as an example for departments throughout the hospital.