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Improving Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings through Technology

For hospitals, having a good patient experience is associated with higher hospital profitability and a positive patient and family experience often results in better overall health outcomes for patients.

In a recent study, one of the top identified complaints of a bad patient experience and drop in Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating, is poor cell coverage. Whether it be for conducting business while with your spouse, talking/face-timing with loved ones or just being able to make phone calls, cellular coverage is the top issue to bad reviews. Not to mention, the negative marks from transient medical specialist that come in and out of hospitals and can’t use their cell phones.

About the Overall Star Rating

When my firm goes into an organization, we frequently find that everyone thinks the documentation exists, but when we ask to see it, the documentation either doesn’t exist, or it exists but is not current or not in a usable format. Set aside a small amount of time regularly, either daily or weekly, to maintain and update documentation.

The methodology used to calculate Overall Star Ratings involves multiple steps to select, standardize, and calculate scores based on Care Compare measures. Overall Star Ratings are created using this seven-step process:

  1. Selection and standardization of measures for inclusion in the Overall Star Rating

  2. Assignment of measures to groups

  3. Calculation and standardization of measure group scores

  4. Calculation of hospital summary scores as a weighted average of available group scores

  5. Application of minimum thresholds for receiving an Overall Star Rating

  6. Assignment of hospitals to peer groups based on their number of measure groups (3, 4, or 5)

  7. Application of clustering algorithm to categorize summary scores into star ratings

The measure groups are weighted in the calculation:

  1. Mortality - 22%

  2. Safety - 22%

  3. Readmission - 22%

  4. Patient Experience - 22%

  5. Timely & Effective Care - 12%

This particular study mentioned above and technology improvements target the Patient Experience measure group. Particularly the line item for "patients who gave their hospital a rating on a scale 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest)/patients who would recommend the hospital to their friends and family".

The Solution

The good news is, there is a way to increase your rating through cellular and mobility technology improvements with installing Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS).

A few key ways:

  • Consultation with the wireless carriers

    1. Coordinate them to join the system (sometimes even getting partial subsidies to buy the system)

    2. Install a network that brings the carriers frequencies into the building to give your patients a great cellular experience.

  • New NFPA public safety DAS mandate for first responder radio coverage

These are technologies that you need to investigate further and start budgeting for.

In Summary

The above is only a high-level overview of what DAS improvements can do to improve a hospital's Overall Star Rating. As you look further and further into your technology improvements across the hospital, you'll find other areas such as security systems, nurse call, infant protection, A/V, connectivity and voice systems, that might need some improvement as well. We can help with that to increase your hospital's efficiency, accessibility and reliability.



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