A patient’s perception of their healthcare environment will impact their overall experience and opinion of your practice. Patient satisfaction scores and health facility quality performance metrics, like the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) and Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), include several questions specifically targeting facility cleanliness. You want top scores in these areas because higher satisfaction levels have the potential to translate into greater retention rates and reimbursement dollars for your practice.
So, how can you help improve your HCAHPS scores and maximize reimbursement money? Simple tweaks to your facility’s environment and appearance can create a significant impact on patient perceptions. Focus on five key areas to spruce up your facility and leave a lasting, positive impression on patients.
- Organize Patient Areas
Starting with your receptionist’s desk and office space, store all files and excess supplies in cabinets or drawers so the area is not unnecessarily cluttered when patients arrive. The same goes for treatment rooms and pretty much any area patients can see – your stock of healthcare supplies should be kept within reach but out of sight. Cabinets and supply closets are excellent options for stashing necessities without crowding the patients’ space.
- Focus on Flooring
Face it. Floors can get pretty nasty, especially in healthcare facilities. With lots of foot traffic and a range of treatments and procedures, your floors are sure to take a beating. Vacuum carpeted areas frequently and pay special attention to dirt and debris tracked in through the front door. Keep hard floors free of waste and spills. Bodily fluids must be mitigated immediately, not only for safety reasons but also because your patients definitely don’t want to see the mess. Keep scuffs from shoes and equipment in check for pristine floors your patients will appreciate.
- Create a Welcoming Waiting Room
While waiting rooms require proper cleaning for health and safety reasons, it’s equally important to maintain appearances to promote patient comfort. Waiting and reception areas are typically the first spaces patients see when they enter your facility, so make a positive first impression. Regularly check that all upholstery is in good repair and stain-free and that magazines and other informational or entertainment materials are neat and tidy. You want the space to feel comfortable and clean, not cold and sterile. Add a few simple touches from home like artwork or plants to create a more appealing atmosphere.
- Maintain Spotless Surfaces in Treatment Areas
Surfaces in treatment rooms come in contact with many patients, medical instruments and accompanying bacteria. You need clean surfaces not only to keep patients and practitioners safe from harmful pathogens, but also to create a spotless impression. Properly dispose of all trash, remove dust particles and clean away water spots and other residue using the proper cleaning solutions for sleek, sanitized equipment and countertops.
- Promote Staff Presentation and Hygiene
Patients will notice the smallest of details, so your staff should look just as neat and tidy as your facility. Establish effective laundry procedures that ensure a full stock of fresh, unstained uniforms and scrubs is always on hand. Healthcare can be messy. Doing your part to keep staff feeling clean and fresh will demonstrate your attention to detail, help improve staff attitudes, and cultivate a culture of pride, excellence and professionalism.
You want your patients to feel comfortable and safe when they come to your facility. Implement the five practices above to outpace your competitors in comfort, cleanliness and patient satisfaction. If you partner with a professional cleaning service, choose one with industry experience and patient-centered values and protocols to achieve your health and safety goals with consistent results.
At ServiceMaster Flint, we’ve tailored our healthcare facility cleaning program to address patient expectations and industry requirements. Learn about our custom healthcare cleaning programs and how we can improve your facility’s environment, helping to boost your HCAHPS scores and see a greater return on your investment with well-deserved reimbursement dollars.