Getting It Right

Patient satisfaction occurs when a healthcare provider makes a patient feel well cared for while also making him feel personally cared about inside his healthcare experience from the patient's point of view. As the industry moves deeper and deeper into the emerging market of value based purchasing, competition and consumerism, ensuring that patients feeling well cared for and cared about could easily differentiate who makes it to the list of preferred providers.

The linkages between quality and satisfaction measurement programs will be critically important. While a provider's quality program ensures the systems to promote safety, quality and great experiences, its satisfaction program measures just how well it is doing in the eyes of the patient. Leaders who rely on soft quality and soft satisfaction as their measures of success may be very disappointed when the outcome is their decline on the highway to health care's future.

In the emerging market, an effective quality program works to ensure that all systems and structures operate to:

1. get patient care and experiences right the first time.
2. minimize the risk that an error will make it all the way to the patient.
3. ensure that all care delivery is consistent with current knowledge and practices known to offer patients the best chance at optimal health and well-being.
4. create the kind of experiences that can drive patient loyalty.

An effective satisfaction measurement program digs for the information that tells a provider how well they are doing from the patient's perspective. It works to measure the perceptions of SAVIS - Solution, Access, Value, Information and Safety.

Solution: Did the provider offer a solution appropriate to my defined problems and needs?
Access: Were the services adequately accessible in a user-friendly way?
Value: Was there value in the services received and the encounters within my experience?
Information: Did the information provided to me meet my defined problems and needs in a way that worked for me?
Safety: Did I feel safe inside my experience?

Healthcare Satisfaction Index is designed to create the kind of satisfaction systems and tools that can dig deep to better understand patient perception and support quality in driving for stronger patient perceptions. A satisfied patient is not necessarily a loyal patient. Those providers who seek out the knowledge through the eyes of the patient without fear and are willing act on it with the goal of always reaching to be better tomorrow than they are today have the best chance of experiencing genuine patient loyalty.