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How To Effectively Use Net Promoter Score (NPS) In Healthcare

25 Feb 2019 | by Dr. Surabhi Bhati

Consumer experience is most talked about phenomenon presently in the business world across industries. The importance of consumer experience is more so pronounced in the healthcare industry. Healthcare personnel works in close relationship with their consumers: the patients and their families to provide the best care. The patients seeking care with the doctors are most vulnerable at the time and providing the best medical care with comfort is much more important to make the patients feel safe.

A report by a Deloitte study, states that hospitals with better reported patient experience earn more money and do better financially. The study concludes that better patient experience helps the hospital in achieving their financial goals by strengthening customer loyalty, building a reputation, and increased utilization of the hospital services through increased referrals to family and friends.

The most important finding reported in the Deloitte study is that Hospitals with high patient-reported experience score to have higher profitability, hospitals scoring “excellent” in HCAHPS patient has a net margin of 4.7 percent as compared to the 1.8 percent for the hospital with “low” rating. The study also highlights that the hospitals reporting high on patient experience have more return on assets (ROA) as compared to their competitors.

The importance of good patient experience is highly noticeable in the United States where programs like Medicare’s "Value-Based Purchasing Program" (VBP) financially rewards hospitals having better patient-reported experience score. The patient experience is measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores conducted regularly by hospital staff.

"Hospitals with high patient-reported experience score to have higher profitability"

This blog is an attempt to make you aware of and comfortable with NPS. Here are a few pointers that you need know to implement NPS in your organization.

1) Align your organization towards improving patient experience:

It is very important to have all employees of your organization on board on improving the patient experience. Most of the times the process of policy making is restricted to the top level of management. All the decisions are made at the top level with limited or no inputs from the ground employees who are part of executing the changes.

For running an effective patient experience program in your hospital it is important to keep your staff from every level involved starting from the discussion to final implementation and reporting.

Before starting the process ask yourself "What is your purpose of collecting the NPS scoring?" If the purpose is to improve patient’s care and comfort go ahead with your survey but if your aim is to improve the NPS score of your organization you need to re-evaluate the plan.

We need to understand here that NPS scoring provides you with an insight into your consumers and if you can't get the consumer insight, simple NPS is merely a number of no use. It is important to keep your consumers happy to increase your revenue.

Hence, In the second case improving your NPS as your only goal you might end up getting good scores card but your patients will not be happy with you eventually leading to financial losses for your hospital.

2) Understanding Net Promoter Score (NPS) - What is NPS and how to measure it?

NPS is universally accepted and widely used metrics to measure consumer experience and predict business growth. It is primarily a mode to ask consumers about their experience and the likelihood of referring your service to his family and friends.

The question asked under NPS is “ Considering your experience with our hospital, how likely would you be recommending us to your friends and family?”

The respondents are asked to rate on a 10 rating scale with 0 as very unlikely to 10 as highly likely.

How to measure NPS: The respondents are categorized into three categories, namely

  • Promoter: Customer giving a score of 9 or 10
  • Passive: Customer giving a score of 7 and 8
  • Detractor: Customer giving a score from 0 to 6

Overall net promoter score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

How to calculate NPS, net promoter score  

After understanding the NPS calculation, the next question now is how to initiate the process of collecting and analyzing the NPS survey. Our MedEngage® Feedback helps you automate NPS survey for your hospital with customizable reports and detailed analysis.

 

3) Designing a simple and straightforward patient feedback questionnaire:

Collecting patient feedback is usually unorganized and extensive. Not only the long questionnaire is time-consuming and tiring for the patients but also results in a high number of unanswered questions. The partially filled questionnaire provides an incomplete picture of a patient's opinion and preferences.

Most of the times the hospitals don't even receive enough responses to produce statistically significant results.

It is important to understand your purpose of collecting patient feedback and always try to keep your questionnaire short and simple.

The patient feedback should be designed in a way to make your patients comfortable. Remove all the unnecessary questions and keep what is relevant for your patients. The key to achieving a high response rate is to keep it concise and simple.

4) Coach your staff members to promptly response on patient's concern:

Collecting patient feedback is just one step of the patient experience ladder. The purpose of patient feedback collection is to understand what your patients are thinking and resolve any issue that your patient is complaining of to provide better care.

It is important to motivate your staff to promptly resolve patients concerns within the stipulated time. The timely resolutions of your patient's complaint will make your patient happy. This not only helps in building your reputation but will also help you in building your hospital brand and trust in the community.

It is important to keep your staff motivated towards addressing patients issues. Web-based patient experience platforms like MedEngage Feedback will help you in automating your patient feedback and request management system.

5) Keep the concerned patient in the loop:

There is no doubt that patient feedback is important for evaluating hospitals operations. It also acts as a system for patients to appreciate the good work done by the staff or to report any issue that they have faced during their care.

It is important to keep your patients in the loop regarding their request and complaint raised during the feedback collection. The computer-based feedback collection makes the process much easier and fast by sending timely SMS to the patient regarding the progress. Keeping the patients informed about the status prevent unnecessary inquest from the patient and their family.

The feature of keeping the patients informed about the status eliminates the extra burden from staff taking care of the patient feedback. With the right tools and training the staff responsible for managing patients request and complaints can work efficiently and productively to resolve existing issues.

6) Have a regular meeting to evaluate patient experience:

Regular patient experience meeting is essential for evaluating the progress. The periodic meetings keep your staff motivated and aligned towards the very goal of providing great patient experience.

The periodic meeting helps in generating new ideas and understand bottlenecks. The deep analysis of patient feedback will provide you with actionable insight. Also, smart features of online feedback collection tools like reporting dashboard with root cause analysis make your day to day operations and reporting convenient.

7) Set a patient experience system in place:

As the patient-centric approach is gaining ground in healthcare it is important to have a patient experience system in place for your hospital. Smart computer-based feedback collection like MedEngage® Feedback helps you in automating your feedback collection process. Apart from collecting feedback MedEngage® , it streamlines the process of managing the tickets created during the process.

Rather than taking the patient surveys once in a year or quarterly patient feedback needs to be collected regularly from each patient to provide a much better insight into your hospital functioning. Moreover, word of mouth is the best advertising you can do for your hospital.

The consumer-focused industry has been using the Net Promoter Score for a long time to improve their services and predict their market positioning. It is now time for the healthcare industry to use NPS scoring and patient feedback seriously to improve the experience for their patients.

Interested in optimising patient feedback for your hospital? Contact Healtho5 today for MedEnagage Feedback -Real-time patient feedback solution.

We at Healtho5 are on a mission to solve patient engagement market in India and provide affordable easy to use solutions to the healthcare industry and patients.

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