Firms upgrade measurement tools
Companies that measure patient satisfaction are rolling out new technology to give hospitals a stronger sense of how patients rate their care experiences and how they stack up against the competition.
The Affordable Care Act incentivizes providers to focus on quality care and gives consumers more choices, said Al Vega, CEO of Alpharetta, Ga.-based SPH Analytics, which offers surveys, call-center outreach and action analytics for providers and insurers. The industry must step up its patient-satisfaction game, he said.
“Do you think Walmart doesn’t know your experience?” he said. “They know everything.”
To achieve this, SPH employs its Engage model, which uses structured activities to enable hospital staff to talk with patients. It helps staff track in real time any problems that arise while the patient is hospitalized. A dashboard captures patient input on how the staff is performing. SPH’s call center contacts patients within 72 hours of discharge to see if they’ve picked up their prescriptions and if they’ve scheduled a followup appointment.
Vega said SPH soon will debut PX Compare. The mobile app, which will be available though the Apple store, will allow hospitals to view and compare their own “net promoter” scores with their competitors’ scores. Those scores measure patients’ loyalty to a hospital, he said. Providers can see the percentage of patients who had negative experiences at their hospital and identify how to improve any issues.
Similarly, National Research Corp., based in Lincoln, Neb., uses its Reputation program, which has published more than 1 million physician ratings and reviews on health system websites in 33 states and the District of Columbia, company President Steve Jackson said. Reputation informs patients about their options and builds trust between consumers and providers, he said.