By Derik K. King, M.D.
Patient satisfaction scores are important metrics; they draw attention to the subjective experience of patients who received care from a hospital. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) consider patient satisfaction to be a key value marker in evaluating hospital performance and includes those scores when calculating individual hospital reimbursement.
To better understand patient satisfaction and performance on quality, cost-effectiveness and other key factors critical to value-focused care delivery, hospitals— and the boards that guide them—must look beyond the numbers to consider the factors that influence them. For example, while enhancing patient satisfaction is immensely important in today’s value-based health care environment, understanding the impact that physician satisfaction and well-being can have on patient satisfaction scores can help hospitals and systems guide improvements in several areas simultaneously. Because physicians are an integral and increasingly important part of the overall enterprise, especially in this age of clinical integration, their satisfaction will help drive success on a number of metrics, including patient satisfaction.