Recently, healthcare administrators have become keenly focused on patient experience and satisfaction as a result of the new Value Based Purchasing (VBP) system, a requirement of the Affordable Care Act. Under the VBP system, hospitals are paid for in-patient acute care services based on the quality of the care that is provided instead of just the quantity of services.
As part of the measurement of quality, patients are provided a questionnaire regarding their satisfaction, known as the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). The scoring of this questionnaire as well as other tools will impact the payment rate the hospital receives from CMS.
So where do pharmacists fit in? Well, several of the questions within the survey are directly or indirectly related to pharmacy services. This fact has not been lost on hospital administrators. Pharmacists are now taking on new duties, becoming more involved in patient education, therapy management, and discharge medication reconciliation.
Though the few initial studies evaluating the effectiveness of these pharmacist interactions have been equivocal, the hope is that expanding and enhancing these pharmacists – patient exchanges will help increase patient satisfaction and improve the HCAHPS scores for the health systems.