Patient Experience Parameters As Suggested by Consumers
I was totally intrigued by a post I recently read titled: Improve the Patient Experience to increase Patient Loyalty. The author analyzed and shared patient experience ratings from the HCAHPS standardized survey used in the US. This is a national US, standardized survey for hospitals.
The Patient Experience Hospital Survey
The survey asks a random sample of recently discharged patients about important aspects of their hospital experience. The questions [or patient experience parameters] included:
- Nurses communicate well
- Doctors communicate well
- Received help as soon as they wanted (Responsive)
- Pain well controlled
- Staff explain medicines before giving to patients
- Room and bathroom are clean
- Area around room is quiet at night
- Given information about what to do during recovery at home
- Overall hospital rating
- Recommend hospital to friends and family (Recommend)
The data was then analyzed using a “Loyalty Driver Matrix Analysis” which is shown below.
The data was collected 2010-2011 from 3800 US hospitals. Although the above is described with a marketing slant, very simply, the green zone suggests a “strength” for hospitals and hence the hospital should keep doing anything that falls in this zone. They may also want to leverage this activity else where in their organization. The red zone is considered a “weakness” and a high priority opportunity for improvement. Yellow or amber, is also an opportunity for improvement. The white box is the area where it is considered a lower patient experience criteria for patients. as deemed by this technique.
The data analysis mapped to the table below:
- loyalty driver matrix hospital survey data analysis from blog.tcelab.com
Having led many operational improvement initiatives, I am delighted to see that hospitals are taking this step to collect satisfaction data from their patients. So Kudos for that! I also know how hard it is to collect and share your data for the first time. It is like making your laundry visible for all the world to see but it is a necessary step in the evolution.
The above analysis highlighted that out of the 10 patient experience parameters surveyed , there was one strength, Nurse communication. The other parameters required improvement. Pain management, responsiveness and explanation of medication were in the red zone. Doctor communication and information about recovery were both in the amber zone. I do not think this is a surprise for health care consumers, however it is good to see this visibility.
Having said that, I could not help but wonder if the 10 parameters listed above would be the same priority patients [or health consumers] would list as part of their positive patient experience. As a result, I decided to ask my network this question. I asked three respected patient networks on Linkedin “to use one word to describe a positive patient experience”. I received the following words: partners, empathy, trust, compassion, respect, communication, support, resonance, relax, hope, responsiveness, comfortable, timely, listen, concordance, calming and simple language.
Full disclosure! I did add timely, listen and simple language! I added them not only to make the hidden red word in the above figure [patient experience] but also because having interviewed a number of patient advocates and caregivers, the importance of using simple language and listening cannot be overstated. I also believe timeliness is an attribute very much valued by patients on so many levels.
What I found interesting with this network generated list, is that although I can draw parallels to the hospital survey, there are quite a few attributes that are visibly absent from the hospital survey. I think the human and emotional aspects of the patient were not measured. The survey spoke to a transactional process versus and experiential one. I personally think this is another critical area for improvement.
Regardless, hats-off to my fellow Americans as they continue to develop and action patient satisfactory data. Now this begs the question of what is going on in my own backyard, Canada. I found very little information on patient surveys. Recently the Patients Association Of Canada made headlines in this space which is encouraging.Other than that I have found very little. Needless to say this is a big opportunity for us on this side of the border.
If you can direct me to practitioners who are doing this well, I would be most interested.
I would love to get your feedback on this topic. What have you seen?
- Rise Of The Patient. Be Inspired and Join Me (socialmediapearls.com)
- Rise Of The Patient, A Tribute to Kevin Leonard on Patient Involvement and Destiny (socialmediapearls.com)