The Silver Avenue Family Health Center (SAFHC) didn’t believe their CG-CAHPS results were accurately representative of their actual performance.
The Silver Avenue Family Health Center (SAFHC) didn’t believe their CG-CAHPS results were accurately representative of their actual performance, and they struggled to collect adequate data to understand the patient experience. They faced a common challenge seen across healthcare, where response rates to CG-CAHPS surveys are as low as 34% and on the decline.
After thorough analysis, it was found that the issue could be tied to a number of factors:
Inefficient survey delivery
Physically handing surveys to patients or mailing them after visits results in poor response rates; such methods of delivery are also more likely to upset or dissatisfy patients, biasing results.
High cost of mailing out surveys
Mail-out surveys cost approximately $10 USD per completed survey, so it is difficult to administer CG-CAHPS surveys in a cost-effective way. The CAHPS program also recommends 5 to 6 follow-up phone calls per survey to encourage survey completion, which further increases administrative costs.
The paper-based surveys are not engaging for patients, with confusing wording that decreases accessibility. The surveys are long and difficult for patients to properly read, understand, and fill out.
Delayed response times
Even when they are completed, mail-out surveys have long turnaround times. Feedback can be delayed as much as 2–3 months. This slows a clinic’s receptivity to patient needs, increasing patient frustration.
Lack of patient experience data adds to increasing administrative costs and difficulty representing diverse populations. As a result, SAFHC could not gather sufficient patient satisfaction feedback to receive accreditation or improve care.
Silver Avenue Family Health Center asked Tickit Health to improve their response rates and lower survey administration costs using a digitized CG-CAHPS survey with Digital Empathy.
In collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco, Tickit Health created an evidence-based, multilingual, low-literacy digital CG-CAHPS survey at the fifth grade reading level for SFPDH to capture the voice of a wider, more diverse sample of patients. The Tickit™ approach resulted in a digital CG-CAHPS survey sensitive to cultural needs, which enabled SAFHC to reach patients in a more accessible, timelier way.
The Tickit Health team shortened the CG-CAHPS survey from 31 questions to just 17 and then compared it with the original to check for similarity in responses. The Tickit™ survey included colourful icons and graphics to enhance readability and increase patient engagement. In a previous case study with CG-CAHPS on the Tickit™ platform, these modifications led to a 79% increase in survey completion and improved disclosure rates so that SAFHC could collect better quality data.
9.55% quality improvement
SAFHC used the data collected through Tickit™’s CG-CAHPS survey to calculate the clinic’s composite baseline score in the Getting Timely Appointments, Care, and Information category of the CG-CAHPS. They set a goal to improve this baseline score by at least 4% over the course of a year. Streamlined data collection through the Tickit™ CG-CAHPS survey guided the clinic’s quality improvement work so they could change programming and improve patient experiences. With Tickit™, SAFHC exceeded their patient satisfaction goals and improved their baseline score by 9.55% from January 2015 to January 2016.
Unlocked government incentive payments
Prior to using the digital CG-CAHPS, SAFHC had not been able to gather sufficient data to report to the government for payment incentives. With Tickit™, SAFHC could easily collect, report, and leverage their patient satisfaction data for quality improvement, resulting in a government incentive payment of $2,667.
“The Tickit responses helped us ensure that our efforts aligned with actual priorities of our patients.”
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