Patient Experience: Using Tiny Data to Make a BIG Difference

Patient Experience Questions

One of the earliest benefits of patient-reported outcome data collection is achieved through patient experience questions.

While functional outcome data builds large, overarching qualitative metrics, satisfaction data focuses more on the individual patient.

It gives practices the ability to listen and, more importantly, learn from their patients.

Patient experience data is the microwave of the PRO world – ready and available within seconds after hitting the start button. Functional outcome data is more like a slow cooker: it takes time and patience, but it’s best to just walk away for a few hours while it works its magic because staring won’t make it cook any faster. We live in a microwave society. And, when a practice makes the decision to start collecting PRO data, they are motivated, excited, and want to improve patient outcomes right away. The good news is you can have both! By pairing patient experience questions with valid PRO tools, you can immediately put the data to good use while building a functional outcome data registry. Within a short amount of time, you will have enough data to take action and start improving your practice.

Selecting Questions

Use caution here, there is a lot of psychology behind survey questions and a lot of thought should go into selecting what and how to ask. The key is to ensure that every additional question added is actionable There is a delicate line between how much data you want and how much patients are willing to give.

At CODE, we add patient experience questions to every PRO and can tailor the questions to exactly where the patient currently stands amid the perioperative process. For example, prior to surgery, we ask questions about their pre-op experience, such as wait times in the clinic, their ability to schedule surgery in a timely fashion, or if they have a clear understanding of their plan of care. In the 1st post-operative PRO, we ask questions about their level of pain after surgery and if they felt safe in the environment they recovered in. This method is great for three reasons:

  1. It keeps the number of additional questions to a reasonable amount.
  2. It eliminates the effect of “recall bias” by asking about post-op pain when the patient is freshly post-operative and not a year out.
  3. It creates actionable data that practices can use right away.

Valuable feedback from patients who have had frustrating experiences can be used to modify or implement new processes, and, often times, our clients are able to reach back out and help resolve patients’ individual problems. On the flip side, most of the feedback and comments patients leave will end up being overwhelmingly positive and practices are able to share those kind words with the team.

Collecting patient experience data as a part of a patient reported outcomes program is a no-brainer. Tracking these small pieces of information from your patients throughout their experience can help your practice make BIG improvements. In addition to keeping your patients happy, you are less likely to be sued, and you can leverage the data to grow your business. Considering these upsides and the option to outsource the data collection and storage to CODE Technology, without any interruption to the clinic, only one question remains. Why wouldn’t your practice be collecting?

About the Author

CODE Technology

CODE Technology

We’re research nerds, and we believe Patient-Reported Outcomes are going to transform healthcare for the better - and we’re not alone. That is why we’re helping organizations collect and interpret as much data as possible, as efficiently as possible. Let us help you help the world.

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