Patient Satisfaction More Important Than Ever in Medicine

Male Physician Taking Female Patient's Blood Pressure A study of customer satisfaction across several industries, including patient satisfaction in health care, was the topic of a recent AMedNews article that we’ll discuss today. The consulting firm, PwC, studied customer service in health care and compared it with several other industries, like hotels and airlines.

As you are well aware, for better or worse, Medicare and many other payers now consider patient satisfaction scores when figuring their clinicians’ pay. So, not only is patient satisfaction important in reducing a physician’s liability and chances of a medical malpractice lawsuit, as we have discussed here many times before, it is important in terms of their paycheck, too. And, we are learning it goes even further.

Not surprisingly, the study found that customer satisfaction plays a bigger role than price in getting and retaining patients. More specifically, a mere 8% of patients said price was the most important factor when selecting a doctor or hospital. Price was more important when choosing health insurance (50%), retail businesses (55%), and leisure travel (69%).

Interestingly, satisfied, happy patients are more significant when it comes to garnering additional health care business, when compared to other businesses. The study revealed that personal recommendations were 2.6 times more likely to influence a health care “purchase” than in other industries, like hotels, airlines, etc.

However, the study also discussed the “negative moment of truth” and how it is tougher to resolve in health care than compared to other industries, which is not surprising. A simple acknowledgement and apology regarding a mistake or problem was more likely to satisfy customers who were upset regarding a hotel stay or a good than a patient dissatisfied with a physician or hospital.

We here at, have long understood the importance of patient satisfaction. That is why we offer our clients a free Patient Satisfaction Survey System. It is just one of several free practice tools we offer our clients.

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