Healthcare organizations are working diligently to improve patient satisfaction and the patient experience of care. After all, patient experience of care is a critical quality domain used to evaluate hospital performance under the 2016 CMS Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program (accounts for 25 percent of a hospital’s VBP score)—and comes with the potential for a penalty or bonus.
Patient experience of care is also one of three essential dimensions of the industry-guiding IHI Triple Aim (a framework for optimizing health system performance):
- Improving the patient experience of care.
- Improving the health of populations.
- Reducing the per capita cost of healthcare.
Improving the patient experience can seem like a moving target influenced by a variety of factors. For one, despite the fact that healthcare organizations have been talking about and focusing on patient experience and patient satisfaction for a long time, universally accepted definitions don’t exist. For example, patient satisfaction survey vendors use contrasting language, leading to varying patient interpretations. The industry also lacks conclusive research that proves the connections between patient satisfaction and outcomes. And with so many resources focused on improving patient satisfaction, it’s no surprise healthcare leaders want to understand the connection.