Patient experience: [ pey-shuhnt ik-speer-ee-uhns ]: the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.
Patient satisfaction [ pey-shuhnt sat-is-fak-shuhn ]: a subjective measure of whether a patient’s expectations about a health encounter were met.
This week is Patient Experience Week (April 26-30) and we wanted to spend a few minutes discussing why this is important and how it helps all of us.
Patient satisfaction and patient experience are healthcare terms that are often used interchangeably to describe the extent to which patients are happy with their healthcare, both inside and outside of the doctor’s office. A measure of care quality, patient satisfaction gives providers insights into various aspects of medicine, including the effectiveness of their care and their level of empathy. Patient satisfaction is an important and commonly used indicator for measuring quality in the healthcare experience. According to scholarly research, patient satisfaction affects clinical outcomes and patient retention. It affects the timely, efficient, and patient-focused delivery of quality health care. And that makes it very important.
Measuring our Progress
Here at the Boca Grande Health Clinic, we have used patient satisfaction surveys for many years to help us measure and understand the experience we provide our patients. Historically, our goal was to achieve at least a 95 percent satisfaction level. While the Clinic has always scored very well in the survey, the survey process was manual and typically mailed well after the actual patient visit. As you can imagine, the number of returned surveys varied widely, and the sample size was small.
In November of 2020, the Clinic started a new patient satisfaction survey process where an email is sent the day after a patient visit. The survey is designed to be accomplished in 2-3 minutes. If you were not happy with an aspect of your visit, additional questions would drop down for more information. A comment field was included, and we receive comments on most of the visits.
Today, the Clinic’s goal for patient satisfaction is to be in “top box” percentage in the country. This means all care is rated excellent and the scores for all questions are above the 90th percentile nationally.
Moving forward all patient satisfaction results will be factored into annual goals for the Clinic. This means we are tracking all the data and we can see where there are opportunities for improvement.
For example, our overall patient satisfaction for the first three months of 2021 was 93 percent. This was based upon more than 300 returned surveys. In fact, 42 percent of all patients who received care during that timeframe completed surveys. This is well above the national average.
At the Boca Grande Health Clinic, we pride ourselves on providing personalized care and an excellent experience. That experience includes everything from making an appointment, to being greeted upon arrival and ease of checking in, to the condition of our facilities, to how safe and comfortable you feel at the Clinic. And it includes your satisfaction with your visit. Many of you have turned in surveys. Please complete a survey after each of your Clinic visits as this well help us continue to improve in all areas.
Please keep the comments coming as this input helps us continue to focus and keep quality and patient satisfaction our number one priority. As always, please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions.
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