Using Consumer Research to Enhance Patient Experience
Our client, a provider of specialized cancer treatment, prided themselves on the high level of service they provided to patients. They saw their patient service as something that differentiated them from other providers, but they also realized two important things. First, they needed a way to ensure they could consistently deliver a great patient experience and second, patients’ expectations on service were continuing to rise. That’s where Decision Point came in, we helped develop and operationalize a process to monitor, analyze and address patient service shortcomings and opportunities.
Measuring patient satisfaction in a way that’s actionable
Our client was using an established survey company to monitor patient experience, but they were struggling with how to take action on the findings. We created a custom survey, with questions designed to provide clear direction on the action needed. The new survey is given to every patient after their visit. Surveys are analyzed on an ongoing basis, so our client can track key satisfaction measures and any problem areas are flagged for immediate attention.
The new survey not only enables our client to keep a constant pulse on patient satisfaction and to quickly address any issues that may arise, it is also a great marketing tool. Patients often leave glowing reviews on their post-visit surveys, providing an opportunity for our client to share those stories so prospective patients can hear about current patients’ experiences.
Staying ahead of patients’ expectations
Patients’ expectations on service have continued to increase and our client recognizes the importance of proactively identifying ways to enhance patient experience. We use a pronged approach to make this happen:
Deep dives to uncover opportunities
Website: Our client’s website is a critical step in the patient’s journey. To uncover improvement opportunities, we conducted in-depth interviews (IDI) with patients and learned how they used the website – from what they found most helpful to where they struggled to find the information they needed. The findings and recommendations were then used to redesign the client’s website, elevating the patient’s initial experience with the provider.
Referral process: Although the patient is not directly involved, the referral process impacts their experience. To ensure the process was working smoothly, we interviewed members of the patients’ care team (referring surgeons, physicians and internal staff) and uncovered opportunities to improve communication, making it better for patients.
To enable our client to identify and prioritize improvement opportunities on an ongoing basis, we conduct an annual Drivers Analysis. We analyze patient surveys from the previous year to identify which improvements will have the biggest impact on patient satisfaction. Using advanced analytics, we look at the variability in the survey responses as a whole, not one question at a time, to develop recommendations that will have maximum impact.
With a process in place to monitor, analyze and address patient issues, our client can ensure a consistently high level of patient service. They also now feel confident differentiating themselves based on their patient care. Finally, their disciplined approach and integration of consumer research enables them to continually improve their services.