Kremmling " Patient loyalty more personal than clinical
September 7, 2008
Overall patient satisfaction is determined by how a patient is treated as a person ” not so much how they were treated for their disease.
A Press Ganey report shows that the top drivers of patient satisfaction are related to factors such as how well the staff worked together and the overall cheerfulness of the hospital.
Patients remember how well they felt their needs were taken care of. Was the staff sensitive to the inconvenience of the stay? Did they pay attention to special needs and general comfort? Was the staff friendly? Were decisions communicated clearly and frequently?
Actual medical skill and competency were important but didn’t top the list. Naturally, patients assume that they are to be taken care of with the best clinical care possible by qualified professionals with the latest and most available state-of-the-art equipment and technology.
Studies show that if a person’s disease was treated clinically correct, they still might leave with a bad impression if they weren’t treated right.
If they were treated clinically correct and treated right as a person, they would judge the experience as good.
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Satisfaction reports are becoming more common as health care is as competitive as any other business. But how is satisfaction, which is based mostly on feelings and perceptions, really measured?
Loyalty is the true measure of how a person perceived their experience. Loyalty is displayed when a patient returns for a second visit and then another for other health care concerns. Telling others also encourages more patronage.
Some have used a pyramid model to clarify what is required to attain patient loyalty and positive word-of-mouth. At the base is clinical competency. The next level is basic courtesy. The top is patient compassion and empathy. When this pyramid model is complete, patient loyalty results.
The fact is patients have choices of where they receive their care. It is in the best interest of all health care providers to make concerted efforts of excellence in not only clinical aspects but also emotional aspects.
Done properly, the organization would monitor and reward the courtesy factor as well as the clinical factor. When both of these factors make up the general culture of the health care provider, the patient ultimately benefits.
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