If there’s one thing to take away from this year’s Beryl Institute Patient Experience Conference, it’s that providing each patient with a high-quality experience can no longer be an afterthought, a “nice-to-have” or something to get around to later. It is an absolute necessity – now. Whether you’re part of a small health clinic or major hospital system, your patients are demanding and expecting exceptional experiences.

The days of doing the minimum required to “satisfy” patients are long gone. Thanks to social media and the prevalence of online reviews, if your organization isn’t providing the best possible experiences, it will not stay a secret for long. Most patients have a choice about where they receive healthcare services and, like other services they pay for, they’ll let others know about bad experiences.

It’s critical to rethink what it means to provide a great patient experience from the ground up and from across all aspects of care. Unfortunately, CAHPS scores do not reveal specific or actionable details about why your patients are or are not happy with your service. Those scores are also unable to tell you how engaged your employees are, how well your patients understand the advice and information provided to them or even if they received enough pillows and blankets to make them comfortable. Based on our research and experience, survey feedback for driving effective and sustained improvements should be direct, specific, reliable and – most importantly – should reflect the patient voice:

During the Patient and Family Experience Panel at this year’s conference, patient experience expert D’Anna Holmes succinctly reminded us why the voice of patients has to be at the center of healthcare when she said, “No one here is a bar graph or a pie chart … We collect a lot of data but at the end, this is a human business.”

We need to go beyond external benchmarks and standardized satisfaction data in order to view and listen to patients as the people they are. It can’t be done by relying on surface-level observations. Patients deserve the best experiences possible and providing those experiences requires healthcare leaders and their organizations to dig deeper and to seek out patient feedback and insights to act on.

 

For more on information what healthcare professionals can do to bring patients back to center healthcare, download Healthcare as a Service: Three Reasons We Need Patient-Experience Data or contact us to see how we make it easy to capture the unique voices of your patients and employees to improve the experiences you provide.

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