Defining Patient Experience: Extended Reading for the Overachiever


Whether one is a nurse practitioner or a VP of Patient Experience, these reading recommendations will provide further color to last week’s article differentiating patient satisfaction and patient experience. We believe improving patient experience is critical, and the following articles are meant to contribute to that larger conversation, particularly around the benefits and drawbacks of using patient satisfaction to measure patient experience.

The Value of Patient Experience

Before unpacking the utility of patient satisfaction, this study will serve as a solid foundation.

There had been cases for improving patient experience from all over the spectrum, but what was still missing was the business case — until this study. It provides the data that shows an inextricable link between higher patient experience scores and higher profitability. While this study uses only patient satisfaction metrics to define “patient experience,” providers and doctors would be remiss to not implement these findings into their own business strategies immediately.

Quote we liked:
“Hospitals with ‘excellent’ HCAHPS patient ratings between 2008 and 2014 had a net margin of 4.7 percent, on average, as compared to just 1.8 percent for hospitals with ‘low”’ratings.”

Happy patient, healthy hospital: Taking a cue from the hospitality industry

An optimistic view of the link between improving patient satisfaction and patient experience, this article tackles a lot of the overlooked touch points in a patient’s journey, including some of the digital variety that are crucial to the patient experience (and their satisfaction). Hospitality and healthcare, this article submits, are not as different as one may think.

Quote we liked:
“Hospitals are realizing that great clinical outcomes are just not enough to create brand loyalty between them and the patient.”

The Problem with Satisfaction

It’s quite possible our readers have already read this article in The Atlantic, as it was widely discussed in the healthcare industry last summer. The article is very worthy food for thought and conversation fodder for you and your practice or health system.

Is the patient always right? What if a patient is “satisfied but dead in an hour?” Should satisfaction scores be skewed toward nursing care in a patient’s journey?

Quote we liked:
“The concept of “patient experience” has mischaracterized patients as customers and nurses as automatons… a medical/surgical nurse told The Boston Globe that the scripting made her feel like a ‘Stepford nurse.’”