Date of Award

Fall 12-2012

Degree Type

Doctoral Nursing Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Committee Chair

Dr. Patsy Anderson

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Dr. Sandra Bishop

Committee Member 2 Department



In 2005, the Deficit Reduction Act introduced Value Based Purchasing (VBP) into the healthcare system as a means of hospital reimbursement for acute care hospitals receiving reimbursements from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). The purpose of this Capstone Project was to increase the knowledge of healthcare executives concerning Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) and VBP and the effect it will place on the organization though the utilization of a consultant program. The role of the consultant in this project is to provide expert advice to healthcare executives about the impacts of HCAHPS and provide organizational strategies to increase hospital reimbursements related to CMS and VBP.

The nurse consultant theory used in this project is central to the process of health service modernization, helping to provide clients with services that are organized and structured and served as the framework for this capstone project. Robb’s (2006) guiding principles and techniques were used to guide the framework through its entirety. Additionally, using the American Association of College of Nursing’s (AACN) (2006) Doctoral of Nursing Practice (DNP) Essentials II and V supported this capstone through system changes related to healthcare policy redesign.

The entire senior leadership team (7 members) of a rural acute care hospital in southwest Mississippi participated in the consultant program. A post-implementation evaluation was utilized by the DNP to give the organization a starting point for performance improvement. The DNP in this project will continue to monitor the organization for one year post implementation of the project. Information will be provided to the DNP through the Performance Improvement Committee initiated in this project. The Performance Improvement Team will use original HCAHPS scores from September 2012 and provide monthly feedback of new scores until September 2013. After this time the Performance Improvement Team will only submit data to their senior leadership team.