Experience, Not Satisfaction, Is the Key to Patient Feedback

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Asking patients about specific aspects of their care experience rather than their overall level of satisfaction is a more accurate way to compare the quality of medical practices and individual physicians, according to a study published recently in the BMJ.

More and more we are seeing physician groups and health systems utilizing patient surveys to set physician and staff compensation and setting targets for incentive comp plans.  Why are organizations tying patient surveys to compensation?  It comes down to consumer basics.  In years past patients were not considered ‘consumers’, they were patients.  Bottom line is we are all consumers.  A consumer is anyone who spends money on goods and services.  And what’s the best way to get a consumer to spend their money with you?  Easy; offer goods and services the consumer is happy with.  Consumer is happy, they spend money in your organization, and you have more money to share. 

What’s the best way to find out if a consumer is happy?  Easy; just ask them.  Correct the things they are not happy with and exploit the things they are happy with.  For most of the 20th century patients (not considered consumers) did what their doctor told them and that was that.  In the 21st century, patients (now a consumer) do research, ask questions, expect to be informed, and expect good service.  The 21st century patient will leave a practice if someone is rude to them.  At the very least they will not recommend the practice to friends and family.

What’s the best way to ask your patients?  Easy; use M3-Patient Experience.  A low cost, easy to manage, real-time, on-line survey tool.  If you can buy a book on Amazon.com, you can use M3-Patient Experience.  Learn more at http://www.medicalgps.com/m3pss.html.

Ask your patients about their visit experience.  Pinpoint areas of opportunity and leverage your organization’s strengths.  Experience; Not Satisfaction; Is the Key to Patient Feedback.

— Marty Hudson

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