Patients want ______.
As a wave of consolidation heats up competition for clinical volume among providers, filling in that blank is the biggest challenge of the $3.5 trillion U.S. healthcare industry. Is it merely offering top-notch care? What about a seamless revenue cycle process? And don’t forget about empathy — or convenience.
The answer is, it’s complicated. The Beryl Institute recently asked patients themselves what matters most to them during their healthcare journey, and the conclusions of the study are anything but binary. While patients say an overall experience plays a big role, they placed an even higher premium on being heard, courteous and respectful customer service and clear communication from clinicians and staff, according to the survey.
Even more, while patients interviewed by Beryl prioritized these specific relational interactions, they also told its researchers that it wasn’t simply about nurses and physicians “being nice to them.”
“Consumers reinforced that their engagement in healthcare was first and foremost about their own health and well-being,” the Beryl study concluded. “They want and expect healthcare organizations to provide a level of confidence in their abilities.”
All of this feedback means providers must take an interdisciplinary approach to the patient experience, a multipronged strategy that, regardless of the specific tactics, starts with real-time and actionable patient experience data. In fact, patient experience executives say a lack of immediate, point-of-service feedback is the No. 1 issue they face, according to a recent Chilmark Research report.
In its report, Chilmark also detailed other “unmet needs” of chief experience officers, including the ability to gather, store and analyze structured and unstructured patient feedback data — all in real time.
“The use case for point-of-care survey solutions…is to capture data on key metrics at various points of care by surveying more patients in a more effective way,” according to Chilmark Research. “The goal is to better understand what happens to patients during their care journey, as it is happening, rather than receive a retrospective summary from a random sampling, weeks after the fact.”
When hospitals and health systems incorporate this instantaneous information with service recovery — that is, stepping in when patients have questions about their care, listening to their concerns and rectifying issues — the results are dramatic. The Beryl Institute’s research shows that 70 percent of patients who had a positive experience will refer their friends and family to the same provider, a particularly important data point considering that these personal networks are the top referral channel for hospitals and health systems.
Providers who crack the patient experience code also are performing better financially and are better positioned to take advantage of value-based care incentives that will put them on a stronger financial footing in the future. According to a recent Deloitte study, hospitals and health systems are overwhelmed in the current environment, and many are questioning “the business value of collecting, analyzing and acting upon patient experience data.” However, those providers who are staying the course are poised for success.
“Our research suggests a strong association between enhancing patient experience and improving hospital performance,” Deloitte concluded.
Interested in learning more about the importance of actionable patient experience data? Let’s talk. Based in New York, Quality Reviews, Inc., was founded by leading healthcare providers and entrepreneurs with a combined 30-plus years of clinical, healthcare administrative and technology building experience. We help healthcare provider organizations capture and analyze real-time patient feedback to facilitate service recovery.
With hospitals today operating on the narrowest of margins, losing even one patient over poor customer service is too many. Complicating matters, most healthcare organizations still use traditional surveys to track and monitor patient satisfaction metrics, putting them at a considerable disadvantage in terms of identifying service recovery opportunities.
We make it easy for patients to provide real-time feedback — and even easier for healthcare leaders to improve service based on this feedback. Utilizing real-time feedback, our service recovery and daily performance improvement tools help shift the focus onto the patient and promote a culture of service excellence.