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VUMC switches to new vendor for patient surveys

Jul. 23, 2015, 9:22 AM

Part of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s (VUMC) continual effort to improve patient satisfaction is gathering feedback from individuals who recently received care.

In a bid to better understand how the Medical Center compares in this area to other university medical centers, administrators are partnering with a new company to handle patient surveys. Health care research firm Press Ganey has been selected as the firm to administer feedback surveys for VUMC.

“The transition to Press Ganey offers a fresh approach toward the assessment of the complex relationships between the satisfaction and safety of our patients, clinical performance and how we can continue to drive operational efficiencies,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System. “With more than 50 percent of U.S. hospitals using their tools as measures, we also feel that we can more accurately benchmark against peer organizations.”

The Medical Center has previously used PRC Inc. for the surveys. The primary reason for switching to Press Ganey was the firm’s access to the largest database of information about other health care institutions, which will provide leaders here a better understanding of how Vanderbilt compares, said Denise Rabalais, MMHC, director of Service Measurement and Improvement in the Medical Center’s Patient Access and Experience group.

The company also provides a more complete range of services. One such service is providing an adviser who can work with Vanderbilt to improve patient experience and set goals.

Patients will notice that rather than phone call surveys, the new surveys will be delivered by mail and, eventually, email.

“It would be good if providers can communicate to patients that these surveys are fine to fill out, and that this is how we’re assessing our performance,” Rabalais said.

To allow better comparisons to other medical centers, the surveys will use more standardized questions that patients at other medical centers are asked as well. The change to Press Ganey began July 1.

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