I had a wonderful experience last night, hosting a dinner in honor of the recipients of our first annual Patients’ Choice Award, given to the 5 physicians with the best scores on the outpatient patient satisfaction survey. As readers of this blog know, I don’t like the term “patient satisfaction,” because it seems like such a simplistic measure and a low bar. I think that quality care and effective communication require a lot more than “satisfying” patients. Continue reading Great Night
There is a lot of talk these days about patient satisfaction. For several years, hospitals have been mandated by CMS to survey their discharged patients about their experiences. The results have been publicly reported and payments are tied to performance. This approach, including the use of a federally mandated standard questionnaire and the linking of payment by CMS to scores, is also planned for physician practices. These policies, which are being adopted by private insurers as well as government payers, have been credited with forcing hospitals and doctors to be more attentive to “customer service.”
It is hard to argue against the need for better service, and for better attention to patients’ comfort, and these programs seem to be working (registration required). But a couple of things about this whole approach leave me feeling more sad than inspired.
Continue reading Patient Satisfaction