Using Data to Measure Patient Satisfaction and Outcomes

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Do you know how your patients and clients feel after a visit? Did they feel respected and that their needs were met? Did they feel a connection with staff and like their caregivers listened to and responded to their concerns? Was your facility itself a source of comfort and an inviting environment? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, or if you are just taking a haphazard guess, a look at your big picture data can help. Delving into using data to measure patient satisfaction and outcomes is a good place to start.

Using Data to Measure Patient Satisfaction and Outcomes

Think big data targets trends, not individual concerns. One patient who was unhappy enough to complain about the cold, noisy room on the third floor is just expressing an opinion. Big data allows you to see what the entire population of patients who use that room experienced. When you see that 80% of the people in that room rated it as uncomfortable, you can see that it is clearly impacting patient satisfaction—and come up with a plan to help.

Recent data analysis at the Cleveland Clinic revealed that patients had three primary concerns: respect, communication and surprisingly, happy, approachable providers. The results were a surprise to the team, who had previously – and erroneously – assumed that their biggest issue was timeliness and patient waiting times. Careful analysis of the patient satisfaction data allowed the Clinic to take actionable steps that improved overall patient satisfaction.

Room to Grow

Analyzing your data reveals more than just there you are now in terms of patient satisfaction. It can let you know which things you are doing correctly and help you spot trends. Are all of your hands-on staff getting rave reviews? Then you can tell your HR, onboarding and training teams are hitting the mark. If you are consistently receiving low marks when it comes to patients feeling rushed in your facility, a look at the overall way you schedule and perform visits may be required.

Your patient satisfaction data, once collected can reveal the items and operations that are working best for your facility and allow you to analyze why these departments are working. Faults or negatives revealed by patient satisfaction data can be used as valuable opportunity to improve. In many cases, a patient won’t be impacted enough to take the additional steps required to complain, but will be more likely to reveal their true opinion on an easy to complete survey. Once you’ve identified some key areas you’ll be better able to come up with custom designed strategies that suit your facility and your patients’ stated needs.

Abandon Assumptions

Like the Cleveland Clinic, most facilities and teams have a built-in idea of what patient’s care is all about, but without careful analysis of patient satisfaction data, they are missing the mark entirely. Abandoning preconceived notions about not only what your patients like, but about what they don’t is key to improving your patient satisfaction and overall outcome. Using data to measure patient satisfaction and outcomes removes any personal or privacy issues and reveals where you stand now with startling accuracy.

Big data analysis is the swiftest and easiest way to learn what your patients truly think and to avoid incorrectly assuming that you're excelling in some areas and falling short in other. Employing targeted surveys that address specific concerns can help you accurately gather patient data; if your current satisfaction survey is overly general or limited it may not yield the amount of information required. A fresh look at both your current reported data and the questions you are asking can help yield useful, actionable results that improve patient satisfaction at your facility. Thus, finding and using data to measure patient satisfaction and outcomes will provide answers no matter which side of the stethoscope you are on.

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