Tahoe Forest scores big on patient survey | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Forest scores big on patient survey

Renee Shadforth

It may have seemed like beginner’s luck when Tahoe Forest Hospital received across-the-board perfect scores in the first Patients’ Evaluation of Performance in California (PEP-C) survey. But now that Tahoe Forest is two-year veteran of the survey, the hospital’s perfect showing can be chalked up to what patients see as strong performance.

The PEP-C project, a joint effort between the California Institute for Health Systems Performance and the California HealthCare Foundation, surveyed patients from 181 California hospitals. Tahoe Forest was one of five hospitals to receive perfect scores across the board in categories like overall experience, areas of quality care and patient impressions.

“Sometimes smaller hospitals perform well, but that’s not across the board,” said Marsha Nelson, vice president of California Institute for Health Systems Performance. “Tahoe Forest is an exceptional hospital.”

The PEP-C survey does not measure medical outcomes, like treatment success or how quickly patients recover from illness, according to the guide. The patients surveyed had been admitted and spent at least one night in Tahoe Forest between July 1, 2002 and Oct. 31, 2002.

Tahoe Forest CEO Bob Schapper said staff in quality management will use the survey as a measuring stick to improve the hospital’s service, by looking at what the other four perfect-score hospitals are doing in the realm of service.

“[Quality management] has been contacting a number of them and figuring out what areas we share challenges in,” Schapper said. “We can then collaborate on improving our services. Otherwise you’re doing it in the dark.”

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To participate in the survey, hospitals with more than 100 beds had to pay $4,500, and facilities with less than 100 beds had to pay $3,000. Small rural and public hospitals, like Tahoe Forest, received a subsidy from the California Healthcare Foundation to pay for participation in the survey.

For more information on hospital performance in the PEP-C survey, visit http://www.calhospitals.org.