Patient Flow Software Blog

The Rising Importance of Patient Experience Reviews

Posted by Mary Cooper on Mon, Feb 03, 2014 @ 04:17 PM

Are You Meeting or Missing the Mark?

Perhaps because we call them “patients,” we often forget that patients are also consumers, and the decision-making process applies to hospitals just as it applies to hotels, restaurants, and retail providers. Questions like “Where to get treatment?” “Which doctor to trust?” and “What hospital to support?” are increasingly determined by what other patients & consumers have to say.
patient satisfaction

Now, according to research provided by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, there is no denying that hospitals are influenced by the growing popularity of online ratings and reviews.

Healthcare Business Tech weighed in on this fairly recent trend, stating, “With the rise of the Internet and social media, today’s customers are more savvy with all their purchases-and have higher expectations. Health care is no different.”

So, what does a review-savvy patient mean for our readers in the healthcare industry? It means that the patient experience, from the moment they walk up to the front desk to the moment they exit the hospital, is now, more than ever, a vital part of your hospital’s success and survival. Having tools in place to create a smooth, efficient patient experience could be the difference between a poor or a positive rating.

Beyond the “A for Effort” Mentality

In the past, the patient experience may have been regarded as a secondary priority. After all, the main priority for a hospital is to save lives; however, the patient experience and the subsequent reviews may now directly impact the financial state of a healthcare provider. According to the findings by PwC, “This year alone Medicare will shift $850 million in provider pay based in part on patient satisfaction.” And, it seems, consumers would like to see their reviews play a heavier hand in the healthcare industry:

Patient Survey

As it currently stands, the consequences of a poor review (or, rather a multitude of poor reviews) could be:

  • Negative PR
  • Damaged Reputation
  • Lower Reimbursement and Government Support

We are seeing more and more the supportive or crippling effects of patient satisfaction ratings as, not only the wellbeing, but also the finances of consumers are tied to the decisions they make when it comes to choosing hospitals and doctors.

The positive patient experience can no longer be a luxury for large,financially stable hospitals.

healthcare reviews

Rather, it must become a top priority for all hospitals because it is a consumer demand that will only become more and more expected in the future.

PwC tells us, “As millions of people prepare to buy insurance through new marketplaces known as exchanges, individual consumers are beginning to search for rating systems to guide their decision making.” And, the reviews and ratings of those who have purchased a plan in a state exchange will influence future purchasers. As the state of social media is only continuing to surge, we see that these young, future purchasers will have plenty of public platforms to voice their opinion and be heard.

The question you must ask yourself: What will they be saying about your hospital?

A Holistic Approach to Scoring Big with Patient Experience

When speaking of the patient experience, we must not make the mistake of assuming that it is anything less than the entire journey of the patient: from the welcome desk to the waiting room to getting into a bed to the actual treatment to patient transport to the discharge to the follow up.

You cannot hope to achieve quality patient experience by solely focusing on friendly admission staff or doctors with good bedside manner or speedy discharge operations. Because, the patient experience encompasses all of these things and it is not dependent on a single department, it is dependent on your hospital’s management, which influences all departments.

This type of system is referred to as Customer Flow Management: connecting efficientpatient placement processes to individual functions to create consistent, positive patient experiences from start to finish.

The Patient Focus Systems’ solutions work with this methodology of providing software that allows for holistic management of the entire patient experience:

  • Access Bed Control –> A management tool designed to facilitate efficient room/bed cleaning, and patient matching with appropriate beds, which is especially important for unplanned admissions and for lessening the time patients spend in the emergency department.
  • Patient Transport –> A database and communication interface to automate tasks that are necessary to ensure that patients being moved between their rooms and clinical departments arrive on time. 
  • Patient Tracking –> Provides patient tracking information to hospital visibility systems, including the patient’s last known location and when the patient was there, whether the patient is in transit, the destination location and expected arrival time, and whether the patient is being transferred or discharged. This way staff in each department can be ready to receive a patient and move them along to the next stage in their journey, providing a seamless experience from beginning to end.

So, are You Meeting or Missing the Mark?

The key to scoring big with online ratings and reviews is to provide a positive patient experience. If you would like to learn more about the solutions we provide, we invite you to explore the rest of our website.

If you would like to see what people are already saying about your hospital, we have provided a list of resources to help you gauge whether you are meeting or missing the mark:

  • WebMD
  • Google Reviews
  • The Health Ratings Center
  • Consumer Reports
  • Health Grades

2012 National Hospital Study

Get the results of a 2012 study of the nation's hospitals to assess how patient experience comes into play when facing patient flow challenges.

 National Study

Topics: patient flow, patient review, patient satisfaction