Importance of Measuring Patient Satisfaction

wooden pegs with showing different levels of satisfaction, service experience satisfaction concept

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The term patient satisfaction can sound intimidating, but it is ultimately a subjective metric to gauge whether a patient’s expectations were met during a healthcare encounter. 

It can be difficult to consistently align healthcare services with positive healthcare experiences. Organizational dysfunction and other constraints can be detrimental to the healthcare experience. 

Nonetheless, the debate concerning how to measure and improve patient satisfaction is an ongoing and constructive one that will enable medical practices to provide the best healthcare experience possible. 

History of Patient Satisfaction

Patient satisfaction has not always been a common concept, let alone a measurable one. Patient satisfaction more formally came into existence in 1985 due to the work of Press Ganey, which was one of the first organizations to apply reliable survey design and administration in healthcare. 

Over time, the concept of patient satisfaction has influenced hospitals, survey companies, and the federal government to take notice. For example, standardized surveys such as the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) were developed and continue to evolve. 

Why is it Important to Measure Patient Satisfaction?

Measuring patient satisfaction is the first step to making improvements. After all, you need to understand where things might be going wrong in order to fix them. Here are some key benefits of measuring patient satisfaction: 

Improve Patient Experience and Outcomes

Patient experience is an essential tenet of healthcare. Surveying patients can provide insight into their experience and healthcare outcomes. Don’t discount less-than-desirable feedback from your patients. Instead, act on key points of dissatisfaction. 

Investing in improving patient experience will not only help yield satisfaction in patients but also help provide value for patients and hospitals. 

Increase Patient Retention Rates

In general, it is more cost-effective to retain your current patients than to acquire new patients. 

Retaining your patients leads to greater ROI, and they are more likely to advocate for your services. Therefore, it is important to focus on building loyalty with your patients and keeping them satisfied. 

By contrast, poor patient encounters that are not addressed can lead to your practice losing patients and losing revenue. 

Improve Internal Processes

As with any business, medical practices and groups need to evaluate their internal processes for inefficiencies. Patient surveys can help identify problem areas that need to be addressed.  

For instance, patients may report long wait times, indicating staff scheduling issues. As another example, patients may report they received unclear or conflicting aftercare instructions. This may highlight areas where your staff may need additional training. 

Evaluating thematic problem areas will enable your practice to implement a strategy to improve internal processes for better business and patient outcomes. 

Meet Compliance and Reimbursement Requirements

In addition to providing the best patient experience, measuring and reporting patient satisfaction can be a practical way for medical practices to maximize revenue. 

Measuring patient satisfaction can provide data that is valuable for compliance measures and meeting requirements for certification or reimbursement programs. 

One such example is the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). For certain medical specialties, patient-reported data is required to meet the specifications for particular measures.  

Other compliance or certification programs may have similar requirements for practices or groups to document the quality of care they provide to their patients. 

ClearSurvey Can Help Your Practice Measure Patient Satisfaction

ClearSurvey is a best-in-class survey system focused on helping medical practices offer the best patient satisfaction in healthcare. We can help you develop a custom survey question-set based on your goals so you can gather data for useful insights. Learn more about how ClearSurvey can elevate your practice or schedule a demo today

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