It has been widely believed and accepted that if you provide quality patient care, your patient satisfaction rates will be high. We now know that this is not always the case. Research has shown that there is a large disparity between perceived hospital and physician quality of care and patient satisfaction across the nation. Research has also shown that patient satisfaction in many states is actually opposite what one would expect when providing quality patient care.
A survey performed by CareChex, has shown that while many hospitals and physicians across the nation ranked high in quality of care, they adversely ranked low in patient satisfaction. Florida, for example, ranked 8th in the nation for quality of care and 49th in the nation for patient satisfaction. How does this happen? It is believed that practices and facilities are spending their extra resources acquiring state of the art technology to provide high quality care to their patients. What they are lacking in many cases, is delivering exceptional care to each and every patient who enters the building. While the aesthetic appearance and technology a facility offers is important, so too is the way the patient is treated while receiving care.
What does this mean for medical practices and facilities across the nation? Administrators must be proactive in gathering feedback from their patients. Patient surveys must become a common part of the practice. The medical industry at large has become highly competitive and as such, if your patients are not happy, they will go elsewhere. Gathering feedback alone is not enough, you must also implement any needed changes. If you take the time to ask your patients about their experience and then do nothing to fix any problems that may be present, you are telling them that their opinion truly does not matter. This is worse than not asking their opinion at all.
By taking a proactive approach to measuring patient satisfaction and then implementing needed changes, medical practices will bridge the gap between patient satisfaction and quality of care. The practices that deliver not only quality care, but exceptional service are the ones who will prosper the most!