The Growing Impact of Patient Choice

Although only a percentage of hospitals participate in the CMS HCAHPS program, all of them are affected by the patient experience when it comes to patient’s choices. With more of their own money paying the bills, patients are expected to become increasingly discriminating about their health-related services.

Harris Interactive’s recent poll found that among Americans who visited a doctor’s office within the past year, only 47% reported being very satisfied with their last medical visit (compared to 63% for their last restaurant visit). The survey also found that patient interest in online interaction with healthcare providers is outpacing the supply. Patients are saying they want the convenience of access outside Dr. visits and the flexibility to engage with providers on their own terms and get faster response rates.

It has yet to be proven out that higher patient satisfaction leads to better outcomes, but people continue to ask the question.

Whether or not satisfied patients are healthier patients, getting feedback into the health system can only help improve it. By taking feedback and incorporating the knowledge gained to make processes more efficient and patient-friendly is sure to make hospitals and clinicians perform at a higher level.

Answer this week’s poll: Do you think the HCAHPS patient satisfaction survey will improve the hospital experience over time or hurt it?

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