Patient Satisfaction deals with how patients evaluate the quality of their healthcare experience. It is mainly assessed by conducting patient satisfaction surveys using healthcare survey software to determine the high quality of care, in addition to numerous other dimensions of quality, such as relevance to need, effectiveness, and efficiency.
A patient is satisfied keeping in mind different aspects of their healthcare, such as the doctor's behavior towards them, the information provided, the technical skills of the doctor, and the access to and quality of the healthcare setting.
According to the National Institute of Health, it is estimated that loss of a patient due to dissatisfaction, can result in the loss of over $200,000 in income over the lifetime of the practice.
History of Patient Satisfaction in Healthcare
In 1985, Notre Dame Professors Rod Ganey, Ph.D., a sociologist, and statistician, and Irwin Press, Ph.D., a medical anthropologist, started a healthcare company named Press Ganey. They created a new market of survey design and administration to health care.
Press Ganey started with a few hospital clients. In a couple of years, more hospitals saw that it's valuable to track their patient's satisfaction. The companies using their services are NRC, Gallup, HealthStream, PRC, and Avatar.
In 2002, the federal government first became active in patient satisfaction. The same year CMS and AHRQ collaborated for the research and development of the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey. HCAHPS is a standardized survey, which consists of 27 questions and are administered arbitrarily by approved vendors or the hospital after discharge.
After a review process in October 2005, the HCAHPS survey was approved by the National Quality Forum(NQF) and in October 2006, it was implemented by CMS. In March 2008, the first public reporting of HCAHPS results happened with voluntary reporting by hospitals.
Importance of Patient Satisfaction
- Building Loyalty
- Attracting New Patients
- Improving Clinical Outcomes
- Minimizing the Risk of Litigation
Importance of Patient Satisfaction
Providing enhanced patient satisfaction is one of the main objectives of numerous healthcare providers. It is mainly because patient satisfaction level is interconnected with the key success metrics for healthcare providers and hospitals.
- Building Loyalty: In today's ultra-competitive medical care atmosphere, hospitals must do every little thing feasible to guarantee their patients continue to pick them as their best medical providers. The probability is high that a satisfied patient is more likely to visit the same hospital than search for some other medical facility.
- Attracting New Patients: Word of mouth is considered as the most effective kind of advertising. Happy patients will tend to share their hospital stay and would love to spread a word to friends and families regarding their experience, which can attract new patients.
- Improving Clinical Outcomes: Researches shows that there’s a direct connection between patient satisfaction and the effectiveness of treatment. Trust built by hospital doctors and staff members will increase the likelihood of the patient adhering to their treatment recommendations.
- Minimizing the Risk of Litigation: Some clinical study suggests that happy and satisfied patients are less likely to take legal action if they experience an unsatisfactory clinical outcome.
According to a survey conducted by HealthLeaders Media Industry, more than 54% of healthcare executives say patient satisfaction is considered as one of their top three priorities.
How to Improve Patient Satisfaction
- Fostering Communication
- Reducing Wait Times
- Leveraging Technology
- Providing Patient Satisfaction Surveys
How to Improve Patient Satisfaction?
- Fostering Communication: Physicians and nurses that try to connect with their patients, ask open-ended questions, and review their problems are more likely to have a positive impact on satisfaction levels. Also, asking basic questions as to how patients are feeling can have a positive impact on satisfaction levels.
- Reducing Wait Times: A hospital stay is a fretful time for any patient. Extended wait periods are a root cause of patient frustration, as waiting often
has a tendency to increase anxiety levels. Tasks such as quickly educating
patients of test results and taking a look at them routinely will make them
recognize you're not neglecting their care. For example, a straightforward apology
for a late result or visit can calm an anxious person.
- Leveraging Technology: Making use of the latest technology will allow the patients to easily contact hospital staff, interactive education systems that give information regarding their care, and also numerous other modern technologies that can boost comfort and enhance their experience.
- Providing Patient Satisfaction Surveys: If you really want to value your patients input, then do ask them to fill out a patient satisfaction survey at the time of discharge. You can gain important feedback that you can utilize to boost the level of care.
Healthcare is an industry that affects people’s lives in the most vulnerable moments. Patient satisfaction plays a crucial role in the way hospitals are judged. And the first step on the way to achieve this goal lies through understanding patient satisfaction and putting empathy first. Measuring patient satisfaction with the help of the patient feedback software will result in better performance, yielding more engaged patients, satisfaction, and, ultimately, hospital reputation.