When the Customer is not Always Right Part II

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Last week we discussed the patient experience problem facing healthcare. Leadership and individual providers have significantly differing views of the importance of patient experience. Understanding when the customer is right, when there’s actually an issue, and when changes should be made is critical, but in most cases healthcare companies are missing the mark. This problem is exacerbated when you take a look at what the patients actually think about their care. Spoiler alert: it’s not pretty. 

Author: Bradley McClure

Status quo of today

As our economy continues to value positive customer experiences, healthcare will need to rise to the occasion and change how it views the patient experience. Unfortunately a recent research at prophet.com, showed that 81% of consumers remain unsatisfied with the current health care experience. Even worse, the more patients engage with a specific organization, the less satisfied they become.

To further hammer home this point, let’s dig into how hospitals and patients aren’t seeing eye to eye on patient experience. One recent study showed that 63% of health care companies think they deliver exceptional patient care. Yet, only 43% of the patients agree with that statement. There’s a clear breakdown between the health care organization’s perception and the patient’s. There was a 17% difference between customers and providers on the question “Providers take the time to understand my needs and explain options,” and an alarming 21% difference for “Providers have empathetic medical and administrative staff. ”

In short, health care is missing the mark. What can you do to make sure your patients think your care is exceptional? As discussed in my last article, the first step is to actively listen and engage patients to learn what specifically would improve their experience. To do this you need to get feedback from patients faster than traditional paper survey systems which can take weeks, or even months, to learn anything meaningful from patients.

Time to change

According to Pew Research, consumers prefer to take online surveys, and healthcare should lean into this by designing and distributing patient surveys electronically. Using a digital platform makes it easy to create the survey and automate the entire process. It is also important sure you personalize the survey to your patients to reach them even more effectively. By asking patients the right questions and get their responses quickly, healthcare organizations will be better equipped to ensure patients receive the exceptional care they are looking for.

If you don’t currently conduct patient surveys, you need to make it a priority going forward. It’s time to implement surveys and start gathering the necessary data from your patients’ experiences in real time. This information will help you make needed improvements. While there are numerous solutions available to you, you want to pick software that allows you to generate electronic surveys geared toward your industry. By getting a real-time feedback tool that will give you immediate insights into how patients experience your facility, you will be equipped to make impactful changes.

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