By Jeff Arnold, CEO and Chairman
Over the last several years, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Miguel Forbes, an executive with Forbes, Inc. who focused in part on extending the company’s brand into new business opportunities and sectors, like travel. Our interaction began after I purchased the Mobil Travel Guide – which was created in 1958 and originated the five-star rating. Miguel and I worked together to rebrand Mobile Travel Guide as Forbes Travel Guide to build on our commitment to create a global benchmark for hospitality excellence. As part of my role as Chairman of Forbes Travel Guide – a position I still hold today – I likewise am committed to the company’s mission: to be grounded by the objectivity and high standards of the Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating system, and ensure that our destination-based information is created and constantly updated by our team of verified travel experts. So what in the world does this have to do with healthcare?
While some find it odd that I have two companies in seemingly divergent industries – Forbes Travel Guide in the hospitality space and Sharecare in healthcare – bear in mind that the word “hospitality” is rooted in the word “hospital.” Futhermore, the consumer’s role in each of these industries is more closely aligned than ever before. Particularly in this era of consumer-driven healthcare, people are demanding not just quality clinical treatment at an affordable price, but an overall patient experience that also includes comfortable surroundings and impeccable service. And these demands aren’t unreasonable – frankly, patients deserve a five-star healthcare experience in every sense of the term. And CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) agrees.
What you may not realize is that there is a metric called HCAHPS – the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems – pronounced “H-caps” for short. It’s a national, government-enforced standard for gathering and publicly reporting information about aspects of the patient experience that are important to consumers. That’s because the patient experience is about much more than administering the right meds – it also should factor in a medical professional’s bedside manner, the comfort of the room and the quality of the food. Yes, the better a hospital’s HCAHPS score, the better their comparative ranking and resulting funding; but what’s at the core of this is the fact that a better holistic patient experience, from admission to exam to overnighting to discharge, yields better patient wellness.
My work with Forbes Travel Guide has greatly influenced my interest in and appreciation of customer satisfaction – and the state of affairs in healthcare today, such as it is, only fuels that into a passion to ensure you all receive the best of care, the best of experience and the best of health. I recently sat down with Miguel in his reporting role at Forbes to talk about Sharecare and where we’re headed – you can read our interview on Forbes.com.