Promising practices for achieving patient-centered hospital care: A national study of high-performing US hospitals

Hanan J. Aboumatar, Bickey H. Chang, Jad Al Danaf, Mohammad Shaear, Ruth Namuyinga, Sathyanarayanan Elumalai, Jill A. Marsteller, Peter J. Pronovost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Patient-centered care is integral to health care quality, yet little is known regarding how to achieve patient-centeredness in the hospital setting. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey measures patients' reports on clinician behaviors deemed by patients as key to a high-quality hospitalization experience. Objectives: We conducted a national study of hospitals that achieved the highest performance on HCAHPS to identify promising practices for improving patient-centeredness, common challenges met, and how those were addressed. Research Design: We identified hospitals that achieved the top ranks or remarkable recent improvements on HCAHPS and surveyed key informants at these hospitals. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, we described the interventions used at these hospitals and developed an explanatory model for achieving patientcenteredness in hospital care. Results: Fifty-two hospitals participated in this study. Hospitals used similar interventions that focused on improving responsiveness to patient needs, the discharge experience, and patient-clinician interactions. To improve responsiveness, hospitals used proactive nursing rounds (reported at 83% of hospitals) and executive/leader rounds (62%); for the discharge experience, multidisciplinary rounds (56%), postdischarge calls (54%), and discharge folders (52%) were utilized; for clinician-patient interactions, hospitals promoted specific desired behaviors (65%) and set behavioral standards (60%) for which employees were held accountable. Similar strategies were also used to achieve successful intervention implementation including HCAHPS data feedback, and employee and leader engagement and accountability. Conclusions: High-performing hospitals used a set of patient-centered care processes that involved both leaders and clinicians in ensuring that patient needs and preferences are addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)758-767
Number of pages10
JournalMedical care
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2015


  • Best practices
  • Hospital care
  • Patient experience
  • Patient-centered care
  • Patient-centered outcomes
  • Quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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