Healthcare Analytics, Population Health Management, Healthcare Big Data

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New Healthcare Analytics Model May Improve Patient Satisfaction

Census based surveying presents an opportunity for providers to collect more patient satisfaction data, enhancing traditional survey methodology.

By Sara Heath

- Census based surveying, or the ability to reach more patients through a more comprehensive data collection method, might be a big data solution to patient satisfaction issues.

big data analytics

In a recent report, Press Ganey explains the process of census based surveying (CBS) and its benefits in discovering patient needs and improving care outcomes. By using CBS, providers are able to reach more patients through email surveys, broadening their scope of patient satisfaction data.

This kind of integration leads providers to glean insights into patient needs, both on with regard to patient satisfaction and on the clinical side of things. These kinds of insights are particularly important in the current shift to holistic approaches to medicine like population health management.

“As the industry continues to shift from the traditional acute and episodic care model to health management and population-based care, rigorous data collection across ambulatory, inpatient hospital and post-acute settings… is a high-priority action item,” Press Ganey explains.

Through CBS models, healthcare organizations have a massively expanded pool of patient data to analyze, leading to:

  • More detailed, and therefore more targeted, insights.

  • Reliable sample sizes to achieve greater organizational alignment and accountability.

  • Scientifically rigorous data to support internal and external transparency of outcomes.

  • Accelerated performance-improvement cycles

Improving patient care and remaining competitive in the healthcare industry will take more than improve care, but patient perceptions of the care they received. As patients become more empowered in their own care and begin making healthcare decisions like a consumer would in other kinds of markets, providers need to ensure that they are delivering not only outcomes but positive experiences as well.

“To be successful, organizations must be prepared to compete on experiences and outcomes that matter to patients,” the whitepaper explains. “This requires continuously evaluating both the quality of care they provide and patients’ perceptions of that care.”

However, in order to be successful in CBS models, healthcare organizations must have the right kinds of resources and attitudes. With ample provider buy-in, as well as adequate patient buy-in, providers are able to significantly increase the volume of data they are working with.

Providers with ample contact information, mainly email addresses, were able to increase their data collection sample size by 109 percent, yielding an average of 100 returned patient surveys annually.

“This significant increase in feedback over a shorter period of time than could be achieved with only phone or mail-based methods means that larger volumes of information are available faster, allowing the voice of every patient to be heard more quickly and improvement efforts to be more timely,” the whitepaper notes.

This quick turnaround time not only increases the amount of data analysts are able to work with, but also allows them to help providers to make workflow changes in a timelier manner.

Securing patient responses is in many ways tied to obtaining patients’ email addresses for immediate follow-up contact. In fact, providers should be collecting email addresses for between 20 and 30 percent of their patients, and aiming to collect emails for 100 percent of patients.

Email capture can be improved by:

  • Establishing performance management goals to obtain and/or verify email addresses across contact points, including registration, appointments and interaction with the organization’s online portal.

  • Vetting the organization’s internal stakeholders to ensure training on data security and HIPAA compliance.

  • Educating patients about information security and alleviating concerns about vulnerability to spam.

  • Tying the collection of email addresses to the goal of improving patient care.

Making these changes, and making them quickly, all circles back to a practice’s need for a competitive edge in an ever-changing healthcare landscape.

“An organization can gain a competitive advantage by reducing the time it takes to identify areas in need of improvement and developing, implementing, and evaluating strategies to address them,” the whitepaper says. “New analyses confirm that Census Based Surveying facilitates this type of rapid-cycle improvement by substantially increasing the improvement trajectory.”


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