Satisfaction Basics

Patient satisfaction involves the ability of a healthcare provider to make patients feel well cared for while also making them feel personally cared about inside their patient experiences. In spite of all of the pressures in today's healthcare environment and what frequently seems like no-win situations for providers, it is becoming increasingly important for providers to understand what promotes patient satisfaction and, more importantly, patient loyalty. It is also becoming increasingly important that providers understand what makes a patient satisfaction system value-adding in its efforts to work towards the kind of patient/provider relationships that drives patient loyalty.

An effective patient satisfaction system can have a significant impact in helping providers to understand the perceptions that patients and the community hold to be true about their services and reputations. It can help in understanding how those perceptions impact patient choices and what can be done to create the kind of perceptions that promote patient loyalty. An effective system can help providers to identify those things that create glass ceilings for their patient/provider relationships and determine how to achieve break-through performance. It can be a very powerful component in a healthy quality program.

An effective patient satisfaction system helps a provider to:

  • know that patient encounters are consistent with what the provider wants the patient to experience;
  • learn what patients value most in current patient experiences;
  • identify what attributes promote the strongest value proposition in patient/provider relationships;
  • identify opportunities to create healthier and stronger patient experiences;
  • learn whether recent improvements have helped to move patient perception in the desired direction;
  • identify negative experiences in a timely enough manner to salvage the patient/provider relationship.