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Five Things You Should Know about the OAS CAHPS Survey

Posted by Greg Hyman on Nov 24, 2015 10:00:00 AM

It’s an exciting time at Avatar Solutions as we gear up for the launch of voluntary OAS CAHPS participation, beginning in January 2016. Many current and prospective clients have already begun reaching out for more information.

As a member of Avatar’s marketing team, I’ve been helping plan the communications aspect of the product launch, and have learned much about the factors that go into planning and developing a survey instrument. Especially in a highly regulated environment, there is much to consider, from external guidelines and requirements to internal technological capabilities.

As a case in point, during OAS CAHPS Vendor Training, which Avatar completed in late October, we learned about several key guidelines that will inform the manner in which we administer OAS CAHPS for our clients. Several specifications were particularly interesting in light of how they compare to guidelines associated with other well-known CAHPS instruments.

In this article, we’ll take a look at those specifications, as well as what they mean for the organizations that will be administering OAS CAHPS come January 2016.

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3 Challenges Faced by Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Centers

Posted by Melissa Herrett on Nov 20, 2015 3:57:48 PM

Beginning in January 2016, CMS will launch voluntary national implementation of the OAS CAHPS Survey, with public reporting anticipated to begin in January 2018. Public reporting will represent data from patients surveyed from July 2016 through May 2017.

The OAS CAHPS Survey will provide hospital outpatient surgery departments (HOPDs) and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) with information about patients’ experiences of care in the HOPD and ASC care setting.
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Brian’s Thanksgiving Top Ten

Posted by Admin on Nov 18, 2015 9:38:10 AM

Editorial Note:

In partnering with clients to measure employee engagement, we regularly prompt employees to reflect on their relationship with the organization. As part of the process, employees share their thoughts on what’s working, what isn’t, and what they are most thankful for at their organization. This feedback is invaluable for organizations, while also providing a powerful exercise in mindfulness and reflection for employees.

Hence our feeling that the holiday season -- with its leanings toward reflection and gratitude -- has a special connection with employee engagement. To celebrate this connection, we asked Avatar team member Brian Ellis to share a list of things he appreciates most about Thanksgiving. Suffice it to say, the Avatar team is thankful for the generous spirit of fun Brian brings to his work and our organization!


By Brian Ellis, Sales and Marketing Specialist

Thanksgiving is next week? Already? Again? Didn’t it just happen? Don’t we still have leftover cold turkey in our refrigerators from the last Thanksgiving?

Okay, that may be an embellishment, and hopefully no one is eating sandwiches with 2014 turkey on them, but like it or not, it’s the holiday season once again!

In the spirit of the holiday, I wanted to take a moment and share a list of my absolute favorite things about Thanksgiving.

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Key Drivers of Patient Experience: Problem Resolution

Posted by Greg Hyman on Nov 12, 2015 7:30:00 AM

When healthcare organizations launch an initiative to improve patient experience, they naturally try to focus on the areas where their efforts are likely to have the greatest impact.

These priority areas vary by organization and care setting. For example, patients’ experiences when leaving a physician office tend to have a greater impact on overall satisfaction than patients’ experiences when leaving the inpatient care setting.

Nuances notwithstanding, some factors contribute more heavily and more frequently than others in driving overall satisfaction among patients. Among these factors, Problem Resolution and service recovery capabilities crop up most often.

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A Bibliography of HCAHPS Survey Resources: Vol. 2

Posted by Greg Hyman on Nov 10, 2015 7:00:00 AM

From the veteran patient experience leader to the certified nursing assistant, all healthcare professionals can benefit from learning more about CAHPS surveys and how they impact an organization's ability to provide top-notch care.

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Drivers of Employee Engagement: Coworkers/ Teamwork

Posted by Melissa Herrett on Nov 5, 2015 4:43:53 PM

Engaging employees remains a hot topic in the workplace. Organizations nationwide are continually searching for the most effective ways to increase engagement among their employees.

To help organizations pinpoint focus areas, Avatar conducted key driver analyses to identify the factors that have the most impact on engagement. In a pair of recent articles, The New Key Drivers of Engagement – Part 1 and Part 2, we provided a high level overview of the nine key drivers identified using data from Avatar’s national employee engagement survey database.

One of the employee engagement drivers that came to light through our research is experience with Coworkers / Teamwork. In this article, we’ll explore this important topic in detail and provide some tips for improving employees’ experiences in this area.

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Four Tips for Increasing Employee Engagement

Posted by Brian Ellis on Nov 3, 2015 2:00:48 PM

Companies are built and maintained on the hard work of their employees. Employers depend upon their teams to deliver at 100% every day, and to receive this level of commitment, they must nurture a highly engaged workforce. Avatar Solutions’ research has shown that when employees are not fully committed to their jobs, productivity and profits can suffer.

Employee engagement is equally important for employees themselves. When employees are not engaged, they are less likely to advance in their careers, less likely to produce quality work, and may seem to simply coast through the work day without adding any meaningful value to the organization.

It’s clear that increasing employee engagement is crucial for keeping employees happy and energetic, as well as crucial to the overall productivity of the organization. But how do you increase engagement? In this article, we’ll take a look at a few proven tactics for improving engagement at your organization.

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Developers Describe the Latest Changes to the CG-CAHPS Survey

Posted by Greg Hyman on Oct 29, 2015 6:00:00 AM

For those seeking to assess and improve the quality of care in the physician office setting, the past several months have heralded several important changes to the survey tools at your disposal.

Of special note, in the midst of preparations for the launch of the CAHPS for PQRS survey program, many healthcare leaders heard word of a new core CG-CAHPS instrument, CG-CAHPS 3.0, which was formally released in July and recently detailed in a webinar1 hosted by several CAHPS stakeholders.

Detailed descriptions of the CG-CAHPS 3.0 survey, its differences from previous instruments, and results from initial testing can tell us a lot about the future of CAHPS, as well as what patient experience leaders can do now to prepare for what’s next.

In order to help you understand this latest survey tool, this article shares several key highlights from the recent webinar on CG-CAHPS 3.0.

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Anatomy of an Organizational Advocate

Posted by Hannah Johnson on Oct 27, 2015 11:07:51 AM

Every office has them – those coworkers or employees whose smiles are contagious as you walk past them in the hall. They always have a positive and upbeat attitude, speak up during meetings, and are great additions to your team.

At Avatar, we describe these highly engaged employees as Advocates. We call them Advocates, in part, because these employees tend to be the “first followers” or “early adopters” during times of organizational change. They truly believe in their organization and are quick to show it.

Suffice it to say, Advocates are team players you definitely want to keep on your roster!

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An Overview of CAHPS for PQRS

Posted by Brian Ellis on Oct 21, 2015 9:18:17 AM

For many physician groups and the people that support them, late fall and early winter will be a time of special significance.

Despite what you may be thinking, this significance is unrelated to the onset of cold and flu season, as well as the increased incidence of digestive complaints associated with holiday overindulgence, though these are notable events in their own right.

Rather, this time has special meaning because, for many provider groups, it marks the first time they will participate in the organized, nationwide collection of patient feedback.

In the coming weeks, CAHPS for PQRS will formally launch. By now, participating groups have selected their vendor and are preparing for administration. However, for those who have not yet had an opportunity to fully research the instrument, or who are considering participating in the future, this article outlines the instrument, administration, reporting format, and key dates to remember.

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