Patient Experience Measurement




Patient experience encompasses the range of interactions that patients have with the health care system, including their care from healthcare providers, nurses, and staff in the hospital.

As an integral component of health care quality, patient experience includes several aspects of health care delivery that patients value highly when they seek and receive care, such as getting timely appointments, easy access to information, and good communication with health care providers.

Understanding patient experience is a key step in moving toward patient-centered care.

Patient Experience Differs from Patient Satisfaction

By looking at various aspects of patient experience, one can assess the extent to which patients are receiving care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs and values. Evaluating patient experience along with other components such as effectiveness and safety of care is essential to providing a complete picture of health care quality

The terms patient satisfaction and patient experience are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. To assess patient experience, one must find out from patients whether something that should happen in a health care setting (such as clear communication with a provider) actually happened or how often it happened.

Satisfaction, on the other hand, is about whether a patient’s expectations about a health encounter were met.

Two people who receive the exact same care, but who have different expectations for how that care is supposed to be delivered, can give different satisfaction ratings because of their different expectations.

HCAHPS Surveys Measure Patient Experience

While there are various ways to gather information on patient experience, HCAHPS surveys have become critical tools for organizations interested in assessing the patient-centeredness of the care they deliver and identifying areas for improvement. HCAHPS surveys do not ask patients how satisfied they were with their care; rather, they ask patients to report on the aspects of their experiences that are important to them.


Relating Patient Experience to Other Quality Measures

A positive patient experience is an important goal in its own right. Moreover, substantial evidence points to a positive association between various aspects of patient experience, such as good communication between providers and patients, and several important health care processes and outcomes. These processes and outcomes include patient adherence to medical advice, better clinical outcomes, improved patient safety practices, and lower utilization of unnecessary health care services.

KFSHRC Patient Experience scores against USA hospitals

HCAHPS measures seven (7) composite questions that include the following:

  • How well nurses and doctors communicate with patients,
  • Responsiveness of hospital staff are to patients’ needs
  • Pain Management
  • Medication Education
  • Whether key information is provided at discharge, and how well patients understood the type of care they would need after leaving the hospital.

Two individual items address the cleanliness and quietness of patients’ rooms; and two global items capture patients’ overall rating of the hospital and whether they would recommend it to family and friends.

On a quarterly bases results are reported hospital wide and compared with the US National Average.