Luis Hospital surveying former patients


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ST. CROIX - Recently discharged Luis Hospital patients may be getting a phone call in the coming days inquiring about their hospital experience.

The hospital has contracted with National Research Corporation to conduct patient satisfaction surveys by phone.

The surveys, which ask patients about their experiences at the hospital, will help officials identify areas for improvement, according to a statement Luis issued this week about the surveys.

The telephone surveys began last week. The hospital has dubbed the initiative to get patient feedback "We're Listening."

Medicare requires the hospital to conduct and report the results of its patient satisfaction surveys and to work with an independent survey company, according to the release.

"We evaluated several patient satisfaction survey organizations," Peter Abrahams, Luis Hospital chief of Cornerstone Systems and Services, said in the statement. "We decided to partner with NRC because of their fundamental philosophy of patient-centered care and their reputation of respecting the confidentiality of the patients surveyed."

The company has more than 30 years of experience, the release said.

Luis Hospital spokeswoman Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel said the hospital shopped a request for proposals to five leading vendors that conduct nationally standardized public reporting surveys on patients' perception of their hospital care.

The National Research Corporation proposal was the second-lowest bid but was the most responsive and fully satisfied the hospital's required scope of service, which the lowest bid did not do, Simmonds-Emmanuel said. The contract with National Research Corporation is for $50,807, she said.

In addition to the patient satisfaction surveys, National Research Corporation also will work on physician and employee engagement at Luis, according to Simmonds-Emmanuel. Although that work is part of the contract, it is not part of the "We're Listening" campaign, she said.

The public will be able to view the overall results of the patient satisfaction surveys at the website, www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov. The Luis Hospital survey results should be published on that website by December and then be updated monthly, the release said.

Only a sampling of patients will be surveyed, and they will be contacted for the phone survey within 30 days after discharge.

All information identifying specific patients will be eliminated by the company when it provides summary survey results to the hospital and to Medicare, the release said. The survey is not limited to Medicare patients.

Hospital officials said the calls associated with the survey will have questions focusing on the experience the patient had with the hospital, and will not focus in on personal identifying information.

"If they start asking for real personal information, like your Social Security number, they're not an authorized caller," Simmonds-Emmanuel said.

Patients who have used Luis Hospital's outpatient services will be surveyed at another time.

- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or e-mail jblackburn@dailynews.vi.

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