Why does it make sense for hospitals to give the BFFLBags® to their patients?
Because even the smallest gesture can make a big difference in the patient experience and rate of recovery. Plus, establishing a personal connection with patients can improves the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) measures.
“I have been taking the bags to the patients after surgery. The patients have been thrilled! The pillow seems to be something they use right away. It seems to be an item for comfort as well as when they go home from the hospital, I suggested they use the pillow over their surgery site to protect from the seat belt trap. This seems to help them not worry as much traveling home, once discharged.
“The bag is so colorful and cheerful” and ” I feel so special”! These are two comments from patients. All the patients love it right away! They usually have something they plan to use the bag for when it is empty, One patient planned to use it as a beach bag.
The bags are appreciated by all the patients. All the items can be used at some point during their recovery. Thank you so much.”
Patient Navigator Coordinator
USA Mitchell Cancer Institute
How can the hospital ensure that patients will feel cared for during hospitalization and even after discharge?
By giving the patient a BFFLBag®, the hospital sends the message to the patient that he or she is valued and special, not just the “patient in room 101.”
When the patient arrives at the hospital before surgery, he or she can put clothing and other belongings directly into the BFFLBag, which is tagged, scanned and then delivered to her hospital bed. The BFFLBag holds all of the essentials that ensures that a patient feels dignified while lying in bed; a toothbrush which doesn’t need water to use, a comfort pillow to take pressure off sore body parts, a hairbrush and mirror, and skin care products to freshen up. The BFFLBag® includes all the little things that make patients feel a friendly, human touch.
“We had a patient with a brain stem tumor who could not communicate verbally. She was very uncomfortable, and obviously in pain, but could not express what was wrong. I gave her a whiteboard communicator and she pointed to the toilet. When I asked the other nurses on duty when she had last been to the bathroom, they all looked at each other with an awful expression of ‘didn’t you do that?’ The patient was impacted and obviously needed help. That whiteboard communicator saved the day.”
National Rehab Hospital, DC
Compliance: Steps to Recovery and Action Plan
Sending patients home with a BFFLBag® containing clear instructions (in English with Spanish and Madarin Chinese and Russian on the website), supplies and an organizer for papers ensures that patients will be less likely to misplace post-op materials. It also ensures fewer phone calls and visits to the emergency room. She will receive a happy and cheerful signature item from the hospital, a generous “freebie” that is actually useful. The drain care kit with instructions and supplies will additionally improve the chances that JP drains are milked properly. Surgeons will appreciate fewer calls about malfunctioning drains and concerns over infection and hematomas.
“The Breast Bffl Bag has made it so much easier to get the patients what they need. The earplugs help them shut out noise, the wipes help them feel cleaner, and that important papers envelope is a miracle for holding all of the discharge papers. Now I am certain that they are going home with what they need.”
Sue A. RN,
Positive PR and Advertising
A happy patient tells four friends about her experience. An unhappy patient tells ten friends that she was poorly cared for.
Once a patient has completed treatment, the BFFLBag® can turn into an overnight bag, a gym bag, and a conversation piece. The patient will tell her friends that it came from your hospital. What could be better advertising than that?
These are competitive times in the health care industry. Increasingly, hospitals vie for patients, and must consider many issues regarding patient satisfaction. Excellent and timely patient care with positive patient outcomes is assumed to be standard of care. When patients are discharged from the hospital, positive feedback and word of mouth recommendations to friends are worth their weight in gold in terms of public relations and referrals. It also means reimbursement. The Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements will depend on SCIP scores and HCAHPS measures. A positive patient experience means positive reimbursements.
What Is HCAHPS?
The intent of the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) initiative is to provide a standardized survey instrument and data collection methodology for measuring patients’ perspectives on hospital care. While many hospitals have collected information on patient satisfaction, prior to HCAHPS there was no national standard for collecting or publicly reporting patients’ perspectives of care information that would enable valid comparisons to be made across all hospitals. In order to make “apples to apples” comparisons to support consumer choice, it was necessary to introduce a standard measurement approach: the HCAHPS survey, which is also known as the CAHPS® Hospital Survey, or Hospital CAHPS. HCAHPS is a core set of questions that can be combined with a broader, customized set of hospital-specific items. HCAHPS survey items complement the data hospitals currently collect to support improvements in internal customer services and quality related activities.
Three broad goals have shaped the HCAHPS survey. First, the survey is designed to produce comparable data on the patient’s perspective on care that allows objective and meaningful comparisons between hospitals on domains that are important to consumers. Second, public reporting of the survey results is designed to create incentives for hospitals to improve their quality of care. Third, public reporting will serve to enhance public accountability in health care by increasing the transparency of the quality of hospital care provided in return for the public investment. With these goals in mind, the HCAHPS project has taken substantial steps to assure that the survey is credible, useful, and practical. This methodology and the information it generates are available to the public.
In May 2005, the National Quality Forum (NQF), an organization established to standardize health care quality measurement and reporting, formally endorsed the CAHPS® Hospital Survey. The NQF endorsement represents the consensus of many health care providers, consumer groups, professional associations, purchasers, federal agencies, and research and quality organizations.
About the Survey
The HCAHPS survey contains 18 patient perspectives on care and patient rating items that encompass eight key topics: communication with doctors, communication with nurses, responsiveness of hospital staff, pain management, communication about medicines, discharge information, cleanliness of the hospital environment, and quietness of the hospital environment. The survey also includes four screener questions and five demographic items, which are used for adjusting the mix of patients across hospitals and for analytical purposes. The survey is 27 questions in length.
Improving the patient experience will become increasingly important as Medicare and the Affordable Care Act link performance to funding. FierceHealthcare’s article by Karen Cheung-Larivee explains how important the treatment of patients can be.
BFFLBags can be purchased by hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and charities at a wholesale price. Please contact [email protected] with your inquiry.
Hospitals Giving BFFL Products to Their Patients
Join the growing list of hospitals including Yale Smilow Cancer Center, Montefiore Medical Center, University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute, Dobbs Ferry Hospital in New York, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, St. Johns Riverside, and National Rehabilitation Hospital – all of which give BFFLBags® to patients at the time of their surgery or admission.
How Can You Improve Your Patient’s Experience?
Please email us at [email protected] or call 914-713-8550 for more information on wholesale programs for BFFLBags®, Masthead® bras and other BFFL Co products.