The Patient Wants Online Satisfaction

Throughout a night in the hospital, alarms sound, wheel carts clatter, telephones ring, doors bang, and sick people don’t sleep. A recent New York Times article pointed out that this isn’t just detrimental to patient health or just an inconvenience.

Hospitals might start to find that patient satisfaction impacts compensation. The Affordable Care Act calls for Medicare reimbursement to depend more on the quality of care provided than the volume of services provided.

“In FY 2013, an estimated $850 million will be allocated to hospitals based on their overall performance on a set of quality measures that have been shown to improve clinical processes of care and patient satisfaction,” a press release from the Department of Health and Human Services said last year.

PwC’s Health Research Institute recently published a report all about patient satisfaction in health care. It includes survey responses from 6,000 Americans who were asked about their customer service experiences across several industries.The full report, Customer Experience in Health Care: The Moment of Truth, looks at how the industry stacks up compared to the hotel, airline, banking and retail industries. The news isn’t that good.

But there is good news. Hospitals, insurers and other health care organizations have already started to move some of their services, like appointment booking and claims information, online — which is just what many patients want, according to the report.

Sixty-five percent of survey respondents said they value online and mobile information exchange with their health care provider, and 49% said they value receiving insurance information in both paper and online formats.

“The voice of the customer may be the best kept secret in healthcare, but that’s changing as consumers exert greater control over how their healthcare dollars are spent and exercise power to vote with their feet and wallets,” U.S. Health Industries Leader at PwC Kelly Barnes said.

“Hospitals and insurers are competing for loyal customers served by new care and coverage models in a more retail-oriented health market.”

Look above at the graphic taken from the PwC report to see what consumers said they value most from their providers and health insurers.

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