In the recent Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM), Rebecca Anhang Price and colleagues address common critiques of patient experience measures. Here are the seven criticisms they identify:
1. Consumers do not have the expertise needed to evaluate the quality of care
2. Patient “satisfaction” is subjective and thus not valid or actionable
3. Emphasis on patient experiences encourages providers to fulfill patient desires, leading to care that is inappropriate, ineffective, and/or inefficient
4. There is a trade-off between providing good patient experiences and providing high-quality clinical care
5. Patient scores cannot be fairly compared across health care providers due to factors beyond providers’ control
6. Response rates to patient experience surveys are low, or responses reflect only patients with extreme experiences
7. There are faster, cheaper, and more customized ways to survey patients than the standardized approaches mandated by federal accountability initiatives.
I am a big supporter of patient experience. Despite this, I can still relate to a number of these criticisms, and I hear many of them echoed by friends and colleagues. If we are to embrace patient experience measures as providers and health systems, how do we get past these concerns?
What are readers’ reactions to these criticisms of patient experience? Do you agree or disagree?
I encourage you to read Price’s piece in JGIM and see if your reactions change.
Link leads to: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25416601