Are You Measuring Patient Experience All Wrong?

September 13, 2018
What if you and your hospital were measuring patient satisfaction incorrectly? Worse, what if you were focused on improving things that didn’t really matter — and overlooking things that did?

// By James A. Gardner //

James Gardner

In a health care setting, satisfaction focuses on the gap between patients’ expectations and their experiences. Importantly, patient experience includes everything from your physical facility and clinical team to your food service and website.

And yet many health care marketers rely on narrow satisfaction measurement tools. The two most common tools — satisfaction surveys and federal HCAHPS data — while helpful to a degree, both have deficiencies that can confuse your improvement efforts.

The Net Promoter Score® (NPS) framework is built on the better idea of measuring advocacy, not just satisfaction: how many fans you have, how fanatical they are, and why they feel that way.

It asks two simple questions: On a scale of 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely), how likely is it that you would recommend this hospital to a friend or colleague? Why do you say that?

Turning patients into fans is easier said than done, but research suggests a few especially impactful levers. Nurse and physician empathy, open lines of communication, positive clinical outcomes, and physical environment top the list.

If improved patient experience is your goal, find your “North Star” by focusing on things that matter and going beyond satisfaction to measure advocacy.

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