Patient Engagement = Patient Experience

Posted on September 27, 2012. Filed under: Patient Experience, Post By Christy Whipple |

Image“Engaged patients have a better experience because it is psychologically and emotionally gratifying.”
Christy Whipple

According to a recent Gallop poll published in the Business Journal, healthcare organizations are realizing more and more that “providing exemplary medical care isn’t enough to engage customers [patients]. From a patient’s perspective, excellent medical care is the least a healthcare organization can provide.” Most hospitals recognize this and have broadened their focus to include “the patient experience.”

Many healthcare organizations are making Patient Experience their  main focus. According to HealthLeaders Media Patient Experience Survey – 84% of hospitals surveyed ranked patient experience “among their top three priorities.”

The most popular method of improving patient experience is to improve the patients’ image of the hospital; typically through physical grandeur, such as the trend for hospital lobbies that look like those in upscale hotels. Though well-intentioned, these methods seem to miss the mark. According to Gallup’s research, they won’t necessarily create a lasting emotional connection with patients. And that emotional connection — customer engagement — is the key to developing patient relationships that are enduring and profitable.

Gallup notes that obtaining healthcare is more than a financial transaction – it’s emotional. Patients desire to be engaged by the hospital staff. They want to be well educated about their healthcare, and confident in their recovery. If emotional needs are met, the result is engagement that’s optimal for both the patient and the healthcare organization.

According to Gallup’s study, to be “engaged” all patients require the fulfillment of four psychological elements:

  • Confidence reflects the belief that patients can always trust the hospital to deliver on its promises.
  • Integrity reflects the belief that the hospital always treats patients fairly and will satisfactorily resolve any problems that might occur.
  • Pride reflects the degree to which a patient feels good about using the hospital and about how using the hospital reflects on them.
  • Passion reflects the belief that the hospital is irreplaceable and an integral part of patients’ lives.

Engaged patients have a better experience because it is psychologically and emotionally gratifying. And engaged hospitals can count on engaged patients and a better bottom line.

 Engaged healthcare is better healthcare, for everyone. And that is the best definition of the patient experience.

To learn more about patient experience, and the challenges facing hospitals today, schedule Introcomm’s complimentary 20 minute educational “Challenge Call” webinar.


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