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Is having a good patient experience important to healthcare consumers?

The answer is overwhelmingly yes, according to the Beryl Institute's latest consumer survey to measure perspectives on the patient experience. Over 90% say that having a good patient experience is either very important or extremely important to them.

Is this surprising?  Probably not.  Yet it's information that those of you who are planning and designing healthcare facilities should know.

And, as the report states, it's important for designers to remember that "Experience influences expectations, which influence behavior, which further influences experience."

Patient Experience a Factor in Healthcare Decisions

Other interesting findings from the survey:

  • Consumers are more positive about their own care experiences (66%) than about overall healthcare quality (46%).
  • Consumers are highly positive about their primary care experiences, with over 90% reporting being satisfied with their visits and having their care needs met.
  • Access and cost are challenges for some to getting care, with 47% saying they avoid non-urgent visits due to costs and inconvenience.
  • Over 90% of consumers find it easy to understand and communicate with their providers.
  • Patient experience is a significant factor (94%) in consumer healthcare decisions.

What makes a good healthcare experience?  This survey didn't really measure that.

Highest Ranking Patient Experience Components

But in a global survey of healthcare consumers three years ago, Beryl reported that the highest ranking patient experience components were:

  1. Listen to you
  2. Communicate clearly in a way you can understand
  3. Treat you with courtesy and respect
  4. Give you confidence in their abilities
  5. Take your pain seriously
  6. A healthcare environment that is clean and comfortable
  7. Provide a clear plan of care and why they are doing it
  8. Ask questions and try to understand your needs and preferences
  9. The ability to schedule an appointment or procedure within a reasonable time
  10. A discharge/check out process in which your treatment plan and/or next steps in care are clearly explained

The design of the physical environment can reinforce and support many of these components. In fact, it can influence behavior that leads to better experiences.

It's pretty simple, really.  Patients want to be treated with respect and as human beings. Isn't that what healthcare is supposed to be all about?

Download the Beryl Institute - Ipsos PX Pulse report about the survey. It's free!

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4 years ago

Great Minds Sara!! We are on the same track. This month we have the very same message. I always enjoy your blogs.

Sara Marberry

4 years ago

Thanks, Barbara. I like your post, too! Satisfying patients is definitely different than engaging them. And as you point out, healthcare providers have to do both, which has implications for design.

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Sara Marberry, EDAC, is a healthcare design knowledge expert, thought catalyst, and strategic marketing and business development consultant. The author/editor of three books, Sara writes and speaks frequently about industry trends and evidence-based design. She can be reached at sara@saramarberry.com.

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