What It Means to Be an America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience

What It Means to Be an America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience

Demand for the best patient experience is on the rise. Women, who account for the vast majority of healthcare decisions for themselves and their families, are not settling for subpar care. In fact, 86% of women would travel up to 50 miles for a hospital that was rated best in patient experience!

Yet unlike many ‘services’ which can be preplanned and researched, a hospital visit can often be an unexpected event- but it doesn’t have to be an uniformed event. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the best hospitals in your community that excel in positive patient experiences, and luckily those hospitals are one click away, having earned their place on the prestigious list of the Women’s Choice Award, America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience.

Here we highlight what it means to be among the 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience:

Patient Recommendations

One of the simplest, yet important considerations for earning the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience, is patient recommendation ratings. When choosing a hospital to tend to critical health matters for yourself and your family, it’s of incredible value to understand the healthcare facilities that have been recommended by former patients. 

And, according to a survey of healthcare consumers, 82% of consumers would switch a healthcare provider as the result of a bad experience. It’s for these reasons that the likelihood for patients to recommend a hospital is among the various considerations for earning this award, and that means having earned a higher recommendation rating than the national average.


It’s no surprise that a clean hospital environment is a strong factor in being named an America's 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience. Proper cleaning in a hospital plays a critical role in mitigating the risk of dangerous infections and diseases, while also ensuring that viruses, germs and bacteria don’t pass from visitors to the outside community.

The perception of cleanliness from a patient’s perspective is a strong indicator of having a positive patient experience. And to achieve these positive rankings, the leadership at these hospitals and all participating staff must take great pride in continuing quality improvements in hospital cleanliness practices.

Medication Explanations 

Medical professionals surmise that almost half of all patients incorrectly administer their medications. While some patients may fail to take their medication due to forgetfulness, oftentimes the improper adherence of prescription medications is due to poor communication between the medical staff and its patients. When patients do not have a clear understanding of how to administer their medication correctly, the side effects that may arise, the effects of not taking the full course of medication, and the dangerous drug interactions, they are much more likely to make uniformed decisions that can be a serious risk to their health. Therefore, a patient’s experience on how well their medications were explained to them is another critical factor to determining a positive (and safe) patient experience, and these hospitals take great pride in having stringent procedures to uphold medication adherence both in the hospital setting and at home, by providing appropriate communication during discharge.

Prioritizing Patient Needs

Many patients enjoy having their families come to the hospital during visiting hours. And while family members enjoy providing a level of support, companionship and entertainment during their visit, all patients depend on the hospital staff for their many needs, from medical and physical support to hygiene and nourishment.  Needless to say, it’s of utmost importance that patients are given the attention they need, when they need it. As such, one of the criteria for earning the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience includes the frequency in which patients were given assistance as soon as they asked for help.

Moreover, the importance of having a peaceful, restful night is important to everyone’s well-being, particularly in a hospital setting when the goal is to facilitate a patient’s path to recovery. As such, how patients rated a hospital in terms of quietness around their room during the night was yet another important consideration for earning this award. 

Other Common Trends Among the Awarded Hospitals

While the following criteria are not requirements in the determination of the list for the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience, they are a common thread among many of these hospitals which go above and beyond in their models of care and mission-driven approaches lead by effective and motivational hospital leadership.

Focus on Patient-Centered Care

Patient-centered care means that the care of a patient revolves around the patient and his or her satisfaction, as opposed to a physician centered model in which the physician’s viewpoint of success is prioritized regardless of the patient’s experience. As such, it is a convincing model for delivering the best health care outcomes because it improves a patient’s clinical outcomes as well as their satisfaction ratings. Physicians who follow this model have better communication with their patient and can more accurately prescribe medications, or determine if diagnostic testing, referrals or prolonged hospitalizations are actually necessary.

And, it can’t be overstated that nurse communication is included in the ranking for earning the  ‘America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience’ designation because in fact the nursing staff are the medical professionals who have the most interaction with patients, and play an equally critical role in a patient’s experience and safety.

Effective Pain Management

The mention of a hospital stay tends to usher in sentiments of apprehension and anxiety. This is because women and men alike will not only fear a poor outcome of their health, but also dread any pain that may accompany a hospital stay. And while pain management is seen as a core competency for hospital physicians, many of these awarded hospitals go above and beyond by employing a thorough list of specialists who are involved in the pain management process. Nurses, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, integrative medicine practitioners (i.e. massage, acupuncture, guided relaxation), psychologists, palliative care practitioners, family representatives, and pain management specialists are examples of individuals who make an effective team at providing patients with a successful pain management strategy.

Mission Driven Leadership

As with any industry, having great leadership within an organization will instill a strong sense of pride and motivation to achieve the very best among its customers, or in this case, patients. From recruiting highly qualified physicians and medical staff to integrating cutting-edge technology, providing a positive patient experience will remain a pinnacle for success.

Another common trend of any of the Women’ Choice Award America’s Best Hospitals are those that celebrate achievements and their employees throughout the entire organization, all of whom play a critical role in making a hospital run efficiently, effectively and with the mission of continually improving health outcomes. The Women’s Choice Award’s America’s Best Hospitals for Patient Experience is among those celebratory moments, spotlighting and celebrating the enormous dedication and unwavering commitment for successful patient outcomes and positive patient experiences.

Delia Passi, CEO & Founder of the Women’s Choice Award and breast cancer survivor says, “The best hospitals have leadership that not only inspire their medical staff to deliver their best care, but also inspire the employees from within every department to provide a seamless experience for patients, from admission to follow up care and every experience in between. It’s about empowering patients, and developing a cohesive team effort for success.” 

How Hospitals Make the List

The America’s 100 Best Hospitals scoring process is unique in that it is the only national list that focuses on female patient satisfaction. The process begins with a survey of hundreds of women.  This survey determines which questions in the HCAHPS* survey, completed by patients after discharge, is most important to them in determining their satisfaction with their hospital stay. A weight is given to each of the most important questions.

Good patient experience positively correlates to disease management, adherence to treatment plans and health outcomes.  To help women simplify their choices, the 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience are awarded because they excel in the patient’s willingness to recommend, as well as doctor communications, staff help, cleanliness, providing recovery information, explanation of medications, communication by nurses and peacefulness of the room at night.

The responses to those questions, weighted accordingly, results in a numeric score for each hospital reporting valid HCAHPS data to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  The scoring is objective and uniform. The best 100 scores in each of the four hospital bed size categories (less than 100 beds, 101-250 beds, 251-400 beds, and over 400 beds) determine the recipients of the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience award.

*Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems