By: Jason Hish
Although patient satisfaction and patient experience are used interchangeably in the healthcare industry, they are separate terms that have unique meanings. Patient experience is the sum total of all the interactions that patients have with a healthcare provider, which influences their perceptions of the quality of care received. This involves various aspects of the healthcare system such as communication, hospital environment, transparency, and safety, which are heavily influenced by the culture and internal processes of individual healthcare providers.
On the other hand, patient satisfaction is a subjective healthcare measure that concerns itself with patients’ expectations of what quality care should entail. This means that two patients can receive the same quality of care but have different satisfaction levels due to their individual subjective expectations.
Objective versus subjective quality measure
Determining if a healthcare facility provided patients with unrestricted access to their health records is an objective quality measure and, as such, falls under the domain of patient experience. However, factors such as the ambiance, layout and decor of the room as well as the level of communication between patients and healthcare professionals are subjective measures and come under the purview of patient satisfaction. It should be noted that improving patient experience will result in better patient satisfaction.
The importance of patient experience
Patient experience is becoming more important as insurance premiums and medical costs are rising and consumers are assuming greater financial responsibility. Consequently, patients are becoming more involved in their healthcare decisions and strive to ensure that they receive the most value for their money.
Patient experience is becoming more important as insurance premiums and medical costs are rising and consumers are assuming greater financial responsibility. Consequently, patients are becoming more involved in their healthcare decisions and strive to ensure that they receive the most value for their money.Click To Tweet
This entails comparing the services provided by various healthcare organizations and choosing those that offer the best possible customer-patient experience. Healthcare providers who experience growth and profitability in today’s healthcare environment are those who have recognized this trend and taken steps to improve patient satisfaction and overall experience.
Better patient experience leads to better outcomes for the patient
Improved patient experience leads to a better overall outcome for patients themselves. As mentioned in Hospitals & Health Networks Magazine, when a patient is more engaged during their visit and more satisfied with the care that they receive, they are more likely to correctly engage in any follow-up activities that are prescribed. They are more likely to come back in for another check up, and they are more likely to take the medications prescribed to them in the correct manner. Without this engagement, patients have been known to neglect their treatment and miss follow-up visits, which can have unfavorable results.
Interested in learning more? Download our ebook titled: The Business Value of Measuring and Improving Your Patient Experience
Jason Hish, Managing Director of Xavier Solutions, has nearly 20 years of international business experience. A good majority of his experience is within the healthcare industry as a consultant, including the world renowned HappyOrNot solution. Throughout his tenure, Jason has assisted clients in delivering improvements in patient, customer, and employee satisfaction, along with operational improvements and much more.