There are numerous challenges when determining patient satisfaction, not just in a hospital or doctor clinic environment, but also through home care services. That’s because various factors need to be taken into account when measuring these variables.
Some of the variables that could be crucial to understanding how clients of home health care services may be viewing the care and support they receive can include their mental health, whether they are dealing with depression, the types of medications they may be taking, socio-demographic information, and much more.
A recent research study conducted by Chen, Tilford, et al, found that satisfaction measurements and ratings can be directly impacted by external factors that have nothing to do with the actual services or quality of those services provided.
According to notes from an abstract published by The American Journal of Managed Care, in the research summary, CMS HCC Risk Scores and Home Health Patient Experience Measures, conducted by Hsueh-Fen Chen, PhD; J. Mick Tilford, PhD; Fei Wan, PhD; and Robert Schuldt, MA:
“Evidence from surveys for health plans, hospitals, community health centers, and primary care physicians shows that several factors affecting patient experience are beyond health providers’ control. The most common factors are patient sociodemographics, self-reported health status, depression, survey language, mode of survey (eg, mail or telephone interview), and whether the survey was completely by a proxy. Other studies focusing on hospital care found that patients with high severity of illness and complicated conditions were likely to have lower ratings of patient experience than their counterparts. They concluded that risk factors used in patient experience for hospital care insufficiently adjusted for clinical conditions that affected patient experience ratings.”
Sometimes, it becomes far too easy for agencies and other organizations to make assumptions based on baseline surveys and simple questions about the quality or perceived satisfaction in home care support services. CMS Hierarchical Condition Categories (CMS HCC) attempts to provide risk assessments and patient experience measurements for home health services.
Some of the findings produced by CMS HCC may not align with other rating programs, such as the Home Health Compare program. That may be due to the types of questions on the surveys, the surveys themselves, the cultural or sociodemographic background of the client surveyed, and much more.
There can be numerous challenges in determining satisfaction and how these services are received and viewed. Age and education level, self-reporting, whether patients live alone, mental or emotional challenges, English or non-English speaking clients, whether the survey was completed by a proxy or not, and other factors can all have an influence on the end results, according to this research study.