In recent years, healthcare practices have been focusing more on engaging patients in their growing role as healthcare consumers. Many healthcare marketing departments are expecting to spend more time and resources influencing patient behavior. As consumers seek and have increased access to healthcare information online, marketing teams are recognizing the value of robust patient experience survey data as a resource to inform and guide patients seeking a physician online.
Press Ganey, a leading provider of performance improvement measurement, analytics and strategic advisory solutions, has been a pioneer in advocating for patient experience measurement for decades. We sat down with Press Ganey’s Vice President of Strategic & Product Marketing, Anne Stern, for her insights into the growing value of patient experience survey data to healthcare marketers.
Hi Anne, What should marketers know about patient experience?
Patient experience is about everything that affects a patient during care—including how it is influenced by the patient’s condition, treatment and associated suffering. To evaluate and improve the patient experience, there is no better source of information than patients themselves.
Press Ganey pioneered patient experience measurement with psychometrically-tested and scientifically-validated surveys and comparative benchmarking. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) includes surveys to assess patient perception of care as part of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) program. CMS began publicly reporting HCAHPS results in March 2008, and implemented Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) in 2012, tying performance on CAHPS to payment. The industry has been evolving with more and more emphasis on formal surveys to capture and utilize patient feedback.
What value can patient experience insights bring to marketers?
Traditionally, healthcare provider leadership, quality, nurses and physicians are focused on insights from standardized patient experience surveys, using them to help understand where improvements can be made. As consumers are seeking – and gaining more access to healthcare information online, healthcare marketers are beginning to play a larger role in the patient experience.
Through patient feedback, marketers can understand the perception of their brand and reputation. The opportunity for marketers is to leverage data gathered by patient experience efforts in their efforts to engage with healthcare consumers. Marketers are often the conduit to the organization for patient feedback collected through online review sites. They can also be the catalyst and driver for transparency – sharing standardized patient experience results through stars and comments on their organization’s web site.
Why is it important for healthcare practices to adopt transparency?
Adopting transparency by publicly sharing patient feedback, through star ratings and comments, increases consumer engagement. The robust patient survey data serves as a great opportunity for marketers to help drive consumers to their provider directory pages and control the conversation around their physicians’ brands.
Patient surveys provide large volumes of in-depth, high-quality patient feedback. When marketers share this wealth of comments – both positive and negative – it builds credibility for the practice as well as consumer trust. If only positive comments are made public, this can quickly raise questions to the validity of the data. Publishing all patient feedback communicates that your organization values patient feedback and wants to better understand how they can improve the patient experience.
This rich data is becoming increasingly influential in affecting the consumer experience when it comes to selecting a physician. It’s particularly influential when factoring in the accumulation of online reviews that can increase SEO, and as I mentioned before, drive traffic to the physician directory pages.
How can a transparency initiative affect a healthcare practice?
When they know reviews and ratings are made public, a transparency initiative can spark competition among physicians as well as encourage more focus on improving the patient experience throughout the organization. Organizations leading the transparency movement have seen increases in their patient experience results.
Today, marketers need to prioritize creating an engaging experience that informs and guides consumer decision-making with robust and reliable online evaluations of the patient experience. Press Ganey’s partnership with Binary Fountain provides clients with comprehensive transparency and brand management solutions to effectively engage patients across their healthcare journey.
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