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Einstein Healthcare Network’s use
of Real-time Feedback improves
HCAHPS scores

Einstein Healthcare Network is a healthcare system with approximately 1,000 beds and
more than 8,700 employees serving the communities of Philadelphia and Montgomery
County, Pennsylvania. The network is comprised of three acute-care hospitals, including
Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, which trains more than 3,500 health-professional
students each year, including more than 450 residents and fellows in over 35 accredited

Einstein Healthcare Network’s goal was to be consistent with patient-survey feedback,
to eliminate any variation of survey methodology, to obtain data that made it easier to drill
down into improvement areas, and to gather input for individual providers or care-team
members. The network also wanted its survey to reach patients quickly, so that their
experience would be fresh in their mind.

Through Real-time Feedback’s robust data collection, hospital leadership was able to
create a four-pronged approach to improve the patient experience:

  1. Ensure timeliness and full transparency of data, sharing frequently and transparently with providers and staff
  2. Partner with internal groups to provide supplemental training
  3. Identify and work with any providers who were short of their benchmarks or goals to schedule skills labs and individual coaching
  4. Collaborate with practice managers and providers to provide support, such as coaching or cross-departmental meetings to design and implement patient-experience initiatives





2017 – 2021

Einstein Icon@4x



Einstein Healthcare Network’s patient-experience team took a hard look at their survey
methodology and frequency. Initially, the network’s paper surveys were sent out
sporadically: every week, maybe every two weeks.

The team saw that scores remained flat or showed a decline throughout the years. Turnover and growth led to new staff challenges; staff members were not knowledgeable about the forms and metrics, nor did they know how these metrics influenced the patient experience. And Einstein Healthcare Network’s patient-experience team found other barriers to stellar performance scores: low buy-in, waning engagement, staffing woes, regulation reform, competition, and healthcare consumerism all played a role.

The team then performed a needs assessment, resulting in the network’s Empowering Staff to Navigate the Challenging Model of Healthcare program, which reintroduced the importance of building patient confidence and trust in order to create awareness, ownership, and accountability at the organization.

“Each of the Einstein team members tries to live the mission of providing exceptionally intelligent and responsive healthcare and education for as many as we can reach, each and every day. That makes my job easy, because everybody believes in that mission.”

Nate Stromberg, M.S., CPXP, Director of Patient Experience, Einstein Healthcare Network


NRC Health’s Real-time Feedback solution is an automated patient-feedback solution that attempts to reach 100% of patients within 48–72 hours of their care episodes. Contacting customers via email or interactive voice recording (IVR) technology, Real-time reaches patients where they are, accelerating survey turnaround times and driving up response rates.

Real-time also uses open-ended question fields to solicit patients’ candid feedback. This gives patients the chance to voice their authentic concerns and give providers specific, meaningful points for improvement or praise.

In short, NRC Health’s feedback solution gives leaders timely information about their organizations’ experiential performance, and perhaps even more importantly, gives them robust, reliable data that they can use to support strategic improvements.

“Active ownership of the data, monitoring alerts, sharing the positives, and reinforcing those negatives with staff to try and identify those opportunities has been key for us to improve scores.”

Nate Stromberg, M.S., CPXP, Director of Patient Experience, Einstein Healthcare Network


Einstein Healthcare Network’s patient-experience team wanted to ensure that patients received surveys when they remembered their experience the most vividly. They also wanted patients to get the survey before getting their bill so their feedback would be unbiased, and to have feedback be driven by communication between patients, families, and care teams. Real-time Feedback allowed Einstein Healthcare Network to navigate the survey-feedback process efficiently, which helped them recognize successful individuals and team cohesiveness in order to push their patient experience to the next level.

Einstein Healthcare Network used email and phone to survey 100% of patients, nearly doubling the number of responses over two years. This feedback and level of transparency have helped validate Einstein Healthcare Network’s patient experience while allowing the organization to introduce and review feedback continually, ensuring that staff members understand the data and their impact on the patient experience. Their implementation of Real-time Feedback to improve CAHPS scores covered three major areas:

Real-time Feedback helped Einstein Healthcare Network develop modes of communication to ensure PX priorities and results—including dedicated patient-experience agenda items for monthly meetings—are communicated at all levels of the organization through dashboards.

The health network created a patient action plan that outlined the ways in which performance is driven by communication between patients, families, and care teams. They noted that nurses and physicians are the biggest drivers of performance, and emphasized that all care-team members should work together to build patient confidence and trust.

Real-time Feedback helped Einstein Healthcare Network focus on all areas of direct control, using observation, education, validation, and coaching to impact overall performance through must-have service behaviors.

Real-time Feedback also helped the health network identify critical drivers, defined by priority, that correlate to the hospital and pinpoint their most significant opportunities for growth, helping them improve courteousness, respect, and helpfulness with PSR staff and MAs. The network also created skills labs and debriefing sessions for PSR staff to discuss which strategies work well and which need improvement.

Real-time Feedback provided Einstein Healthcare Network with additional partnering exposure to expand and promote discussion and best practices with everyone involved in the care team. The patient-experience action plan also included governance oversight designed to ensure accountability at all levels, aiding the organization’s ongoing effort to improve the patient experience and care quality.

“We have a lot of providers starting to reach out to us, and that’s been great for all involved, because they want to take an active ownership in their data and improvement.”

Nate Stromberg, M.S., CPXP, Director of Patient Experience, Einstein Healthcare Network


Einstein Healthcare Network has consistently provided quality healthcare for 155 years, and NRC Health’s Real-time Feedback has allowed them to get back to basics to improve their patient experience even more by building confidence and trust among those they serve. As they lean on their primary principles to improve the patient experience, they will continue to demonstrate their excellence and ability to serve their patients with compassion.

For more on  NRC Health solutions,
call 800.388.4264 or visit nrchealth.com/demo.