There is growing awareness among healthcare consumers about patient satisfaction, so we weren’t surprised when almost every person we surveyed for our recent consumer behavior report, Realities in Consumer Healthcare Choice in America, had something to say about the subject.

Patient satisfaction is also on the mind of every healthcare professional we know. It is tied to reimbursement for hospitals and health systems and to retention and increased patient volumes for clinics. A multitude of ideas are being put forward regarding how patient satisfaction can be achieved, and healthcare facilities are investing heavily to get tangible results.

However, what is often overlooked is going beyond the numerical rankings of patient satisfaction surveys to simply listening and acting on patients’ most basic concerns in order to identify meaningful areas of change.

In part two of our blog series Patients Talk, healthcare consumers from six mid-market cities across America disclosed:

What’s the most important thing in determining  whether you’re satisfied or unsatisfied with a local healthcare provider?

The answers ranged from skill and the ability to provide an accurate diagnosis to accessibility and affordability. Three areas with the most responses centered on the level of caring provided, feeling safe and feeling important:

 

Level of Caring

  • How people are treated emotionally.
  • Listening to me carefully before making a diagnosis.
  • The caring nature of the staff.
  • Kind and understanding care.
  • Compassion
  • Empathy

 

Feeling Safe

  • Quality of care.
  • Competence of the entire staff, from the janitors to the brain surgeons.
  • Feeling comfortable with my caregivers.
  • Reputation
  • Trust the doctors.
  • Up to date technology and excellent care.

 

Feeling Important

  • Care and concern for me.
  • Good service.
  • I am treated quickly, efficiently and like a human.
  • Ability to respond to my family’s needs quickly.
  • Ability to talk with my medical professional.

In part I of Patients Talk we told you that our research found that 14 percent of people are actively seeking a new provider. We can’t overemphasize that asking your patients for their feedback, acting on what you hear and announcing what you are doing to create a better experience for them, can prevent patient switching and build the kind of patient satisfaction scores every provider needs right now.