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Intel Report: Patient Experience

By Jonathan Bees  
   August 12, 2016

According to respondents, the most successful patient experience training program groups based on highly effective ratings are executive staff (50%), nurses (42%), and care managers (42%).

At the other end of the spectrum, physicians (19%) and off-site care partners (18%) receive the lowest responses for highly effective, and they receive the highest responses for slightly ineffective at 17% and 11%, respectively. Physicians (4%) also receive the highest response for highly ineffective, all of which points to the need for a greater focus on physician training.

Most difficult HCAHPS component
Respondents say that doctors communicating well (21%) is the most difficult HCAHPS survey measure, followed by receiving a rating of 9 or 10 on a scale of 0 to 10 (14%), and help is delivered as soon as patients want it (12%). The results for physicians communicate well reinforce the need for a greater emphasis on physician communication training.

The second-tier survey results are very tightly clustered, with nine of the 10 responses falling in the 2%–14% range, indicating that, while some respondents have difficulty across a broad range of HCAHPS survey measures, other than physician communication, no one measure dominates.

Most important patient experience areas
According to respondents, the top three areas where a positive patient experience is important are the emergency department (65%), discharge and follow-up (52%), and inpatient rooms (46%).

The reasons behind these results are quite practical in nature: A positive first impression in the ED encourages patients to use other hospital services in the future, and performing well at discharge and follow-up can help reduce hospital readmissions and reinforce a positive experience.

And because patients spend the majority of their time in inpatient rooms, this is an important opportunity to evaluate an organization's room cleanliness and noise levels.

Biggest stumbling block
Respondents say that difficulty changing organizational culture (31%) and abundance of other priorities (27%) are the biggest stumbling blocks for their patient experience programs. The remaining five stumbling blocks form a second tier that is clustered in a tight group, with responses ranging from 6% to 8%.

Jonathan Bees is a research analyst for HealthLeaders.

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