Effectively Using a Net Promoter Score (NPS) in a Healthcare Organization

Ashley Worral
April 13th

In this blog:

  • The importance of patient experience to the bottom line
  • Understanding how a Net Promoter Score is measured
  • Five ways to grow your Net Promoter Score 

Patient Experience Impacts Loyalty and the Bottom Line

 Customer experience is a hot topic in every corner of the business world, regardless of industry. In the healthcare sector, consumer experience is even more important than in other industries. Healthcare workers communicate and connect deeply with their “consumers” — not just patients but their families as well. That means offering the best experience and care is undeniably important. Those consumers who are looking for healthcare are often in bad situations, and high-level patient experience is something that can make those people feel safe and protected.


Based on a study by Deloitte, the hospitals who reported better patient experience are the same ones that have higher revenue and better financial outlooks. They also found an industry’s loyalty leader grows two times as fast as the competition. In other words, the best patient experiences can help with financial goals because customer loyalty is strengthened, reputation is built, and utilization of healthcare services increases from referrals to family and friends.


Understand What NPS Is and How It’s Measured

 A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is one of the most widely used and accepted metrics to keep up with consumer experience and better anticipate business growth in the future. NPS is generated by asking “How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?” with responses scored on a 0 to 10 scale. A promoter is someone who gives a score of 9-10, while a passive customer is someone with a score of 7-8. Those who give scores of 0-6 are considered detractors. The score is calculated by taking the percentage of promoters and subtracting the detractors and the NPS range is -100 to 100, with a score above 50 considered excellent. 

Feedtrail - Healthcare Experience Management

The main benefit of NPS is directly seeing how satisfied patients are. In addition to understanding promoters, you can invest in moving passives and detractors into the green. Happy patients not only keep coming back, they recommend your practice to their friends and family members, spend more, contribute suggestions, and ultimately have a higher lifetime value. That’s why loyalty correlates so strongly with sustainable, profitable organic growth. 

Client Success:

CHOC’s ED historically had a low Net Promoter Score, but within five months of deploying Feedtrail, deeper insights allowed them to understand where to focus improvements and they increased their NPS by an impressive 54 points.

 A Feedtrail industry survey revealed that 26% of healthcare organizations rank NPS as the top metric used by their leadership to measure the impact of patient experience efforts. For FQHCs, physician practices, and outpatient clinics, NPS was the most important experience metric, surpassing regulatory metrics, such as CAHPS. With the growing importance of this metric in healthcare, understanding how to measure and improve the score is key.


Five Ways to Grow the Net Promoter Score (NPS) at your Healthcare Organization:


1. Ensure Improving Patient Experience is a Priority

 Everyone who works at your organization should be working to ensure patient experiences are the best they can possibly be. Most of the policies made in an organization happen from the top levels of management. That means most employees have no part of executing the changes. When running a patient experience system at your hospital, your staff should be involved at every level, from initial discussion and brainstorming to implementation and reporting. NPS scoring is only helpful when you use it to learn what you can do better. Employees who understand that and have the opportunity to offer suggestions and get involved with improvements will help you improve loyalty and your NPS score.


2. Take Time to Design a Simple Feedback Survey

 Getting feedback from patients can be both time-consuming and disorganized. The process of filling out a questionnaire can take lots of time for patients and may lead to many questions being left unanswered. This means you only have a partial idea of how the patient feels about your services. To prevent this issue, it’s best to design a simple form that your patients will feel comfortable answering. Take out any questions that aren’t necessary and leave only the most relevant ones. The best way to improve your feedback volume is by having a simple and concise form. And it’s important to have a goal: knowing the reason that you are collecting feedback will help you ask better, more focused questions.


3. Setup Staff Members to Respond Quickly to Patient Concerns

 Improving patient experience is about more than just gathering patient feedback. The point of collecting the feedback is to get an idea of what patients are thinking and determining ways to resolve your patients’ issues in order to provide the best possible care. You must motivate staff to resolve patient concerns in a timely manner and have the systems and processes in place so real-time service recovery is possible and easily fits into their workflow. 


Patient feedback is important when evaluating the operations of a healthcare organizations. Low scores or negative feedback can help you determine where to focus resources and training. Addressing patient concerns in real time and closing the loop on feedback builds loyalty and helps you retain potential lost revenue. Immediate, effective service recovery should be a key component to improving experiences and boosting your Net Promoter Score.


4. Incorporate Patient Experience in Employee Meetings

 Evaluating your progress towards your NPS and patient experience goals is important and is a company wide activity. Having regular meetings about patient experience can be a huge part of getting all employees involved. These meetings can make your staff more motivated and ensure they are aligned with your organization’s ultimate goal of offering patients the best possible experience. Regular meetings can also offer the chance to generate new ideas, reinforce best practices, and offer recognize star performers who have received patient praise and kudos to grow your culture of recognition. (Learn more about leveraging patient kudos internally here.) 


5. Put a Real-Time Patient Experience System in Place

 Healthcare is continually shifting to a more patient-centric approach. That means having a patient experience structure that includes measuring a NPS is essential for any healthcare organization. Using text or email-based real-time surveys allows you to easily automate collecting patient feedback. It also makes it easier to manage support and service recovery throughout the feedback process.


Instead of having a quarterly patient feedback form that has to be collected manually from patients or surveying patients once a year, NPS is able to offer quick and easy insight into how your organization is functioning. It also gives you an idea of which patients are going to refer others — after all, word-of-mouth is the best form of healthcare advertising available.


Customer-focused industries have been using Net Promoter Score for ages as a way to improve their services and keep up with market positioning. These days, the healthcare industry is also beginning to realize the benefits of using NPS monitoring. Partner with Feedtrail to continually measure your NPS, address concerns in real time, and use actionable insights to improve experiences and stay competitive.  

Resource: NPS At-a-Glance 

Want a quick guide to Net Promoter Scores within healthcare?

Download our NPS in Healthcare Guide