Moving the Focus for Patient Satisfaction


Holding spectacles

Hospitals continue to focus on improving patient satisfaction, many times by focusing on food options and noise levels. And while these may make patients happier, are they the correct things to be focusing on for an improved total patient experience?

  • Mercy Medical Center in North Iowa is implementing "Quiet Time" hours, the Globe Gazette reports. Several hospitals from around the country have implemented standard quiet times and have received accolades from patients who scored their hospital experience higher in patient satisfaction surveys, Mercy officials reported.
  • Crain’s Chicago Business explored the different food options available at the city’s hospitals, including Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Wolfgang Puck Express and Au Bon Pain. From the article: "Though patients choose U of C because of its clinical care, the expanded dining options won’t hurt in the competition for patients, said Daryl Wilkerson, the medical center’s vice-president of support services."
  • Meanwhile, the Utica Observer-Dispatch found that New York hospitals feel that they are at a disadvantage when it comes to patient satisfaction: "New York, as well as New England, often have lower patient satisfaction scores than other parts of the country, officials said. That could mean hospitals don’t satisfy patients as well or that northeastern patients are harder to satisfy."

On a previous post featuring some other hospital’s efforts to improve dining experiences, we got a lot of comments in LinkedIn groups that hospitals should focus on communication among doctors, nurses and patients, rather than on amenities. Another way to lens the issues (and opportunities) for improvement is to look squarely at the patient dissatisfiers that drive down scores. In surgery, for example, long wait times, poor pain management, misaligned discharge expectations, unresponsive staff and poor communication (particularly when questions go unanswered) all factor into the bigger experience picture.

In the next series of blogs, I will explore this topic of dissatisfiers and how the “ePartnership” experience can start to close gaps and boost scores. Join our LinkedIn group to continue the conversation.


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