Sunday, September 30, 2012

Are we too focused on satisfaction in patient experience management?

When was the last time in your patient experience management efforts, you looked at the entirety of the patient experience inside and out, as opposed to what takes place inside the four walls of the hospital?

From the questions and requests I receive regarding patient experience management, it's usually preference by we are looking t improve our satisfaction scores. And interestingly enough, well , I find it interesting, is that these questions come not from healthcare marketers, but from clinicians and quality professionals who have been charged with improving the patient experience. Really, they are fully versed on how the patient views the totality of the organization beyond the clinical experience?

Patient satisfaction is but one indicator of experience, not the be all and end all. Experience management is about the totality of the patients experience a from first contact through diagnosis, treatment, discharge and post care. So why then you are only focusing on the inpatient or ambulatory experience, as measured by satisfaction scores?. Your efforts are too focused and too narrow.

Patient Experience Management is all about the culture.

It is not managing to a survey.

It is not just a program.

It is not just a one-time activity.

Healthcare providers do "dumb things" all the time. And they never seem to learn from that experience. So what happens when test results aren't available, the bill is wrong and a person cannot get the information they want or is on hold for too long?

Well, all the compensatory goodwill built up in the patient encounter is lost because of these little "dumb mistakes" that healthcare providers make day-in and day-out. Those mistakes continue to build until they become non-compensatory event. Meaning that all the good encountered in the patient experience is washed away like a flood.

That's why it's important to view Patient Experience Management in its totality and not as an one service or clinical line experience. It may be for you, but to the healthcare customer-patient who views your organization across numerous touch-points and aggregates all of it into one overall experience, it's not.

Part of the process of experience management is actively managing customers-patients experiences to meet expectations and change their experiences to drive revenue and market share improvements. It's not all about the patient satisfaction numbers. Experience management has a definable and measurable financial outcome. But you cannot achieve those revenue outcomes if you are not looking at experience management in its totality.

By not fully understanding your customer-patient in their totality, you are not successfully managing their experience or expectations.

When was the last time you considered making marketing part of the experience management efforts beyond making things look pretty? Now that's a really dumb hospital mistake.

Michael Krivich is an internationally followed healthcare marketing blogger with over 5,000 monthly pages views in over 52 countries worldwide. He is founder of the michael J group, a healthcare marketing consultancy dedicated to creating value through strategic marketing for hospitals and health system regardless of payment mechanism, either fee-for-service or value-based to increase market-share, revenue , brand and demonstrate actual return on marketing investment. Michael is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives and a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association.

1 comment:

WEBSIDER said...

really nice article, hope to see more from you