How Hospitals Can Improve HCAHPS Scores with the iRound Patient Satisfaction Solution

Real Money Is Now at Stake
Hospital leaders already know that Pay-for-Performance (P4P) is here, transforming good patient satisfaction results from a nice-to-have into a need-to-have. As always, highly-satisfied patients provide numerous less direct benefits, such as patient recommendations that lead to increased market share, but now there is also real money tied directly to satisfaction scores and the potential amount of that real money will increase with each passing year. CMS started holding back 1% of payments to hospitals in 2011 (to be repaid based on new Value Based Purchasing, or VBP guidelines). The first VBP bonus payments occur in November, 2012.

The table below shows the dollars at risk for a typical 300-bed hospital. Simply put, hospitals that do very well at improving and maintaining patient satisfaction will take money from hospitals that do poorly.

Compounding the economic impact, most private payers have announced or are already implementing plans similar to the CMS VBP model.

The ActiveStrategy iRound Patient Satisfaction Solution

The ActiveStrategy iRound Patient Satisfaction Solution (iRound PSS) provides hospitals with an easy-to-use set of tools that can help improve patient satisfaction levels quickly and dramatically. iRound PSS is the first comprehensive solution on the market that is simple for hospitals to implement. It includes targeted technology and services including:

ActiveStrategy iRound™

ActiveStrategy iRound is an application that runs on Apple iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices and provides the ability to automate almost any form or survey imaginable. It enables nurses or nurse leaders to round on each patient every day and quickly collect their interaction on the mobile device. It completely eliminates paper and data entry and it makes the results available instantly through a web interface.

Users of ActiveStrategy iRound are able to access a library of existing forms that were developed in partnership with several leading hospitals at the forefront of patient rounding. It is very easy to modify these forms or create new forms from scratch. It is also easy to add new questions to patient surveys that are already in use and have the questions immediately synchronize with the Apple devices being used for rounding. This provides unprecedented flexibility for hospitals that are serious about improving satisfaction scores rapidly.

ActiveStrategy iRound can be used for hundreds of other rounding needs in the hospital, many of which are available in the library of 75+ forms. Several of these additional applications directly support HCAHPS improvement efforts, from executive and direct-report rounding to checklists verifying discharge instructions. Other iRound applications save time and money in areas ranging from safety inspections to pressure ulcer management auditing. In all areas, iRound provides accurate, instant results that simply aren’t available with paper-based processes.

ActiveStrategy Enterprise for iRound (ASE for iRound)

ASE for iRound is a special version of ActiveStrategy’s award-winning web-based quality and performance management application, ActiveStrategy Enterprise. ASE for iRound provides sophisticated, yet easy-to-use reporting, dashboarding, and trending reports for iRound data. It enables hospitals to easily create compelling graphical views of daily rounds results and their correlation to HCAHPS scores. It lets nurse managers and executives view trends on patient responses and plot tests of change. And, unlike reports created in spreadsheets or presentation decks, these views need to be created only once. Views in ASE for iRound will automatically self-update with the latest iRound data every time they are displayed. To make it easier to get started, ASE for iRound comes pre-loaded with a library of customizable views that are designed to accelerate HCAHPS improvement.

ASE for iRound also allows hospitals to track and drive improvement efforts across the organization that affect HCAHPS scores. Owners of any improvement efforts or any HCAHPS measures will be notified by email when status updates are required, when sub-par performance needs to be explained, or if a service recovery issue has been assigned.

Service Recovery for iRound

It’s inevitable that some mistakes will be made within the complex environment of a hospital. Service Recovery for iRound lets you use a special form to capture such issues directly from patient interactions, assign priority levels, and immediately assign these issues directly to the appropriate person or department for resolution. ASE for iRound lets managers and executives track and report all issues, which closes the loop and ensures that effective resolutions are occurring. When needed, staff can also escalate issues to various levels of management for special handling.

Expert Coaching

ActiveStrategy’s team of expert coaches applies best practices approaches to integrate ActiveStrategy iRound into each hospital’s HCAHPS improvement efforts. The team helps hospital leaders review HCAHPS data to identify the most critical problem areas and design rounding questions that guide quick and targeted improvement. Coaches will provide example processes, roles and responsibilities guidelines, huddle and review meeting agendas, service recovery workflow examples, and on-site and remote coaching, all of which get hospitals up-to-speed quickly and help drive ongoing excellence over the long-haul.

Industry-Leading Results with iRound PSS

This chart represents the publically-reported HCAHPS data for an actual iRound PSS client who experienced 28% improvement is less than five months, with significant improvement occurring in the very first month.

Trended data from ActiveStrategy iRound Customer on HCHAPS improvement


Clear Return on Investment
Financial models demonstrate that the iRound PSS provides a rapid return on investment and a payback time of less than three months for a typical hospital or health system. The solution pays for itself with reduced staff and nursing time, improved HCAPHS scores, and higher CMS reimbursements. An ROI calculator is available for any hospital that would like to see a personalized ROI calculation.

Quick, Easy, Secure, and Affordable
iRound PSS is a HIPAA-compliant solution that is delivered over the web. Hospital staff may be trained to conduct rounds and service recovery tasks within minutes. Training for iRound administrators and power users can be accomplished in a matter of hours. Many clients begin rounding within a few days of starting the project. Other than the Apple devices needed to capture surveys (which ActiveStrategy can provide, if desired), there are no computers or servers to buy and install. Hospitals can start quickly with a low per-user monthly rate, or choose a yearly flat rate (based on the hospital’s number of beds) to support all potential users.

No IT Required
Most iRound clients implement the system with absolutely no IT help. Even if a hospital’s IT resources are busy on other projects, its nursing staff can still be rounding in a matter of days. When IT departments do become involved in an iRound implementation, they appreciate the security features, configurability, and data integration capabilities of the solution.

An Ever-Expanding Community of Peers
ActiveStrategy iRound clients are invited to join the iRound Users Community Group. This group meets quarterly by web conference (and in-person annually) to discuss new applications for iRound, share best practices, and help guide the development of iRound and related products. ActiveStrategy maintains the best practice form library, which is generated by member hospitals, and makes these forms available to all group members. There are currently more than 75 forms and applications in the library, ready to go as-is or able to be customized by users.

Not Just Daily Rounding
While iRound is ideal for patient satisfaction daily rounding, its other potential applications are nearly limitless. Hospitals already use iRound wherever paper surveys have previously been employed, including: staff observations; leader rounding; self-assessment; direct report rounding; employee recognition; safety rounding; facility cleanliness rounds; hand sanitation observations; central line insertion audits; tubes, lines, and drains audit; pressure ulcer prevalence observations; Foley audits; restraint audits; nurse knowledge exchange; sedation plan of care audit; DOH continuous survey readiness; and many JC tracers and audits. New applications are created and made available to iRound customers each quarter.