Measuring the Patient Experience

Healthcare providers such as hospitals or doctor practices are a business with a unique client: Patients

Long-term outcomes are what matter most: A long and fulfilled life is a goal everyone shares.

The long-term outcomes are broken down into small steps and experiences which guide the patient through suggested life-style choices such as nutrition, exercise, regular check-ups and treatment. These experiences depend highly on a trusted relationship between the patient and the healthcare provider.

So how to we measure such patient experiences?

Take waiting times for example, if a patient perceives that even though they arrive in advance of their appointment that they don’t see the doctor in a reasonable time (= on time?), then that can cause frustration. Interestingly there is a chasm between the healthcare provider and the patient how timely appointments are kept (1):

  • 80% of healthcare providers think appointments start on time
  • 48% of patient think appointments start on time

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Healthcare has designed a series of surveys such as CAHPS® to ask the patient questions.

The problem with lengthy surveys though is that it’s a poor experience, who really has time to answer all these questions? The intention is good: Get a lot of data to be able to analyse it but there is a hidden cost: The patient’s time.

One thing which bugs us the most is that the hospital or practice often already has information on the patient (all the appointments and notes) so why burden the patient with questions that are already known?

Healthcare providers are adopting metrics such as the Net Promoter Score to measure the patient experience without burdening the patient too much and we think micro surveys are the way to go.


Would you recommend Advocate Health Care to a friend or family member?

The easiest way is to send out a link to a question, this is how most surveys work.

As the patient’s mobile phone number is nowadays a common way to communicate, our solution makes that experience a bit nicer as both the question and who it is from is visible. That’s a better way than just to share a short link which doesn’t tell you anything.

iMessage turns links into cards that provide context

Here is how the question looks on a mobile device, it works on any device but mobile is an important use case.

One question interface

If you want to give it a spin you can create your own question here:

(1) Study by Survey Monkey (