Increasing Patient Satisfaction Using BI
Family doctor build loyalty with patients one every visit. They
build knowledge on the patient, recording patient health and preferences.
This type of insight intelligence is gathered, stored, processed
and shared amongst health providers to ensure a consistent measure
of care on a patient by patient basis. This use of business intelligence
is focused on both ensuring optimal healtcare for the patient as
well as patient satisfaction.
As a doctor walks a patient through a sequence of events for treatment,
they include specialist consultations, exploratory tests, overnight
hospital stays, post surgical care and patient education.
At each stage of this treatment, more information is given to the
patient as to what to expect and why, as well as any preparatory
measures the patient must take for the next stage.
This level of care, and patient satisfaction requires integrated
health delivery across multiple health organizations and extensive
use of data analysis.
Patient satisfaction is woven into all patient services - clinical,
operational, financial and personal.
Analytical Support For Patient Intelligence
The high-level view of analytical support for patient intelligence
is important in terms of the benefits that accrue to the various
Patient satisfaction data is used in quality, regulatory and pay-for-performance
contract reporting. Satisfaction metrics are also embedded into
marketing messages, risk management practices, operational processes
and everyday clinical care delivery.
Defining and Measuring Patient Satisfaction
Patient satisfaction extends beyond standard customer satisfaction
Licensing and professional restrictions placed on healthcare providers
ensure that they must first consider patient needs before patient
Financial rules from payers, purchasers and patients - in a fee-for-service
provider situation, additional charges for additional tests or treatments
may be denied by the patient’s insurance plan. In a capitation
model, this additional event comes out of the provider’s bottom
Patient satisfaction identifies patient-centeredness as one of
the six ingredients of quality healthcare:
- Empathy and responsiveness to needs/preferences
- Involvement and respect
- Information, communication and education
- Emotional support and physical comfort
- Value and transparency
- Meeting expectations
Patient satisfaction is very patient centric. Involving patients
in choice and delivery of their care increases satisfaction, loyalty,
cooperation and respect.
Patient Satisfaction Measures
Common satisfaction measures were summed up in a recent study
by DrScore and included:
- Accessibility – both physical access and financial access
- Communication skills – of the doctors, nurses, PAs, NPs
and others involved in direct patient care.
- Personality and demeanor – of the same group.
- Quality of medical-care processes – as provided directly
to the patient.
- Care continuity – regarding the handoffs made provider-to-provider,
as well as across time.
- Quality of healthcare facilities – in terms of having
the appropriate equipment, supplies and peripheral resources available.
- Efficiency of office staff – in handling scheduling, billing,
Patient satisfaction relies on providers going beyond the mechanical
delivery of medical care to the delivery of a true health service.
Benefits of Patient Satisfaction
The benefits of patient satisfaction extends to virtually every
corner of the healthcare organization. With greater patient satisfaction
- Greater patient trust and acceptance with treatment plans.
- Increasing buy-in for treatment plans more quickly, making best
use of scarce physician time.
- Increasing trust, which allows physician to discover more factors
that may affect the care needs of the patient.
- Enhancing patient involvement in their own care through preventative
measures, corrective measures and so forth.
Driving efficiency into the organization by focusing on what works
well with patients, and eliminating what does not work well.
Cross-over trust is enhanced. For instance, a good experience in
scheduling appointments can cross over into a better experience
with the care provider. In addition, a good experience with the
patient’s PCP can cross over into a more positive experience
with specialists that the PCP has referred.
Increased internal support for other quality improvement efforts,
such as timeliness improvement, care process improvement, etc.
Quality Accreditation Benefits
Heightened ability to participate in quality accreditation measurement
programs such as NCQA 2007 HEDIS
- Being compensated for services by health plans and purchasers
who peg compensation in part to satisfaction scores.
- Reduced provider staff stress and turnover.
- Providing evidence of value of care to purchasers and payers.
Marketing and Promotional Benefits
- Increased likelihood for being referred for services.
- Increased propensity to return to the same hospital, same physician,
- Improving word-of-mouth promotion of your organization.
- Better comparison against competitors.
Risk Management Benefits
- Reduced likelihood of malpractice litigation.
- Regulatory Compliance Benefits
- Positive scores as reported by the government such as when the
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posts satisfaction
survey results on its Hospital Compare website.
Using Business Intelligence to Increase Patient Satisfaction
There are three key business intelligence applications focused
on increasing patient satisfaction:
Patient Satisfaction Reporting
The most common form of patient satisfaction measurement is through
primary surveys and the subsequent reporting of results. Business
intelligence supports the collection of information from various
sources, transforming data into standardized measures and combining
the data with other quality measures.
Even more valuable is the dissemination of satisfaction results
to the wide variety of users [quality accreditation organizations,
pay-for-performance contractors, public reporting bodies, regulatory
agencies]. BI allows collection of data once and slicing and dicing
it to present various views. This has proven to provide a high return
Patient Satisfaction Information for Patients
Patients are demanding greater involvement in their care. This
requires newer forms of clinical, operational and business analysis
to coordinate this increased involvement.
Patients are also demanding greater evidence of treatment success
and statistical information to make informed choices about their
care. This demands effective and efficient service surrounding primary
care. In turn, ensuring this information is available requires a
high degree of analytical capability of the healthcare organization.
Patient Satisfaction Information for Providers
The most important use of patient satisfaction data is to transform
services and processes involved in patient care. Activities are
being objectively assessed for importance to the patient, rather
than to the organisation. Staff can be allocated more effectively,
ensuring a physician’s time is deployed on more complex and
Increasing patient satisfaction will continue to be important
as more pressures from increased competition, scrutiny and demand
for services. The total patient healthcare experience becomes more
important as patients become more entrenched as healthcare consumers
as a result of having to bear more financial burden for their medical
It is becoming critical to pay attention to what your patients
think of and are saying about your organization.
Business intelligence can help healthcare organizations compete
on satisfaction, patient involvement and operational processes.
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