How Patient Experience Data Will Shape Healthcare’s Financial Future

Greeting a patient at the front desk

Patients have more choices and information available when selecting care providers than ever before. They expect a greater level of interaction and transparency when making important purchasing decisions.

When it comes to selecting a physician, someone who they entrust with their health, the patient experience delivered is key. The online conversation around your brand can show you the aspects of patient experience that are attracting and retaining patients for your practice.

With the rise of review sites and health-related searches online, it is vital for healthcare marketers to focus on building your organization’s online reputation. And the key ingredient to that foundation is patient experience data.

Patient Experience Leads to Revenue

Organizations providing “superior” patient experience achieve net margins 50% higher than those providing “average” patient experience. This makes it vital for organizations to evaluate the entire continuum of the patient experience.

Ratings from patient surveys like HCAHPS also impact revenue. Hospitals with higher patient ratings saw a 0.2% increase in net operating profit margin for every one-point increase in hospital rating. Without a culture of putting patients first, hospitals will not meet their HCAHPS or revenue goals.

Improving patient loyalty and decreasing patient churn can significantly increase an organization’s revenue. Increasing retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%. It is also more cost-effective to focus on loyalty – patient acquisition efforts cost five times more than efforts to secure existing patients.

How to Profit from PX Data

To improve patient experience and help your organization realize the figures above, follow these four steps:

1) Create a data-driven, patient-centric culture. This culture should marry healthcare data analytics with principles of compassion, service quality, and transparency, all in the service of excellent patient experiences.

Benchmark providers’ patient experience ratings and share results publicly. Physicians may be wary of patient feedback, but they are trained to rely on empirical evidence. Offering a data-backed perspective on patient experience performance – insight that clearly affects their practices – can grab their attention.

Transparency initiatives can spark friendly competition among physicians and encourage a stronger focus on improving the patient experience throughout the organization. Plus, once their see reports that show good reviews far outnumber unfavorable ones, they’re much more inclined to buy in.

2) Adopt new tools and strategies. As the digital patient journey evolves, your organization needs to stay on top of more and more customer experience touchpoints online. Find new, efficient ways to address your patients’ needs using new technologies that go beyond traditional care.

Automating survey requests and patient experience analysis can save time by helping healthcare professionals quickly analyze consumer sentiment and trends. Practices can capture more meaningful feedback through surveys and reviews today and use those insights to increase ROI tomorrow.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is another game-changing technology for patient experience professionals. Healthcare-specific NLP platforms can instantly analyze free-text patient reviews and comments from review sites, social media pages and post-care surveys. Staff can gain valuable insights into patient experience after NLP sorts feedback data into care categories, consumer sentiment and star ratings.

3) Listen to and engage your patients. Quickly responding to patient concerns keeps them engaged, boosts brand loyalty, and helps maintain your providers’ reputations. Take advantage of the opportunity to listen, analyze and act on the plethora of feedback available as patients become increasingly vocal about their care experiences.

A pattern of unfavorable online reviews and surveys can potentially torpedo the reputation of a healthcare organization or a provider – and negatively impact revenue. Use them as an asset for helping your staff improve patient experience – and attract and retain patients.

Patient feedback data also allows providers and managers to improve their messaging and operation. Share feedback data with department heads and physicians, so they know what’s going well and what needs to be addressed.

4) Drive patient acquisition. About half of consumers consider online ratings and reviews the most important factor in choosing a physician. As a result, you need to leverage your patient survey data by publishing verified reviews and comments to your organization’s local listings and physician profile pages.

Sharing all patient feedback from surveys, both positive and negative, increases consumer engagement. It also builds credibility and encourages trust. If only positive comments are made public, this can quickly raise questions to the validity of the data. Publishing all patient feedback communicates that your organization values patient feedback and wants to better understand how they can improve the patient experience. As a bonus, it improves your SEO ranking and drives more traffic to your website over third-party review sites.

The Future of Patient Experience

Improving the patient experience will drive loyalty and define the financial future of healthcare organizations.

Measuring the patient experience, until recently, remained elusive. But using healthcare-specific customer experience management platforms, you can collect patient feedback from across the web and analyze provider ratings across dozens of care categories.

The case for investing in patient experience data gets clearer every day. The healthcare organizations that best use it to inform their communications and operations will achieve the greatest return.

Questions? Comments? Reach out to me any time at aclifford@binaryfountain.com.

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