Six Stages of Measuring Your Patient Experience

In our mission to serve the lives of millions in healthcare, I am often asked to speak at conferences, share my ideas, interview hospital CEOs as well as connect and collaborate with healthcare experts and Patient Experience (PX) champions.

A key lesson I’ve learnt is the need for healthcare providers to understand how to measure their patients’ experiences, based on their stage of Patient Experience maturity.  Measurement is crucial – you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

We therefore developed our 6E framework, a step-by-step guide to understand and holistically improve patient experience. It touches first on Experience – measuring it and verifying it, through a range of research activities.

If you’re just starting out in PX, mapping the patient journey is your first step. Ensure you talk to clinicians, non-clinicians and patients to map the journey.  Consider using researchers posing as patients (like a mystery shopper) to understand key steps and challenges. Then develop a survey to measure current patient satisfaction for each stage of the patient journey you’ve mapped out.

If you have a patient satisfaction survey, but not getting information you need, review the patient journey (or ‘shadow’ a patient) and determine what factors influence satisfaction at each stage of that journey. You may need to tweak your questions, or consider the timing of the survey.

Dell Children’s Medical Centre found survey responses were neither timely nor representative. They shortened their survey and gathered information real-time (at the completion of patient consultation). Their response rate increased from 30% to 50%, they identified the need for a more child-friendly atmosphere and an information brochure for patients, and rectified a patient/staff safety issue. They formed a PX committee aimed at completing one new improvement project every month. (Beryl Institute)

If you’ve been surveying PX for a while and now require more context, consider holding small discussion groups of 6 to 8 consumers (focus groups) to get further insight into their sentiments, attitudes and perceptions.

If you feel you are getting the insights you need, consider asking the ‘quiet’ consumer (who may have low literacy, or are reluctant to share views in a survey) via small focus groups or one-on-one conversations, which are less intimidating.

If the challenge is linking PX outcomes to business outcomes, are you mapping and measuring the right element of the journey? For instance, a healthcare provider seeking to drive growth of their maternity services, will need to ensure they understand which elements of care during pregnancy, childbirth and follow up, have the strongest impact on new mother’s satisfaction level. (

If you’re looking to integrate continuous improvement into your PX management, consider use of PX technology providing real-time feedback, granular outcomes and data integration, to collate survey outcomes, for view and use by all staff in your setting. One of the technologies that does that well is called MES Experience.

Wherever you are in your PX development, we would love to hear your story, so drop us a line and you could be featured in our next blog.

A step-by-step guide to improving patient experience for PX champions

Are you interested to hear from patient experience champions on best practice strategies to improve the levels of patient satisfaction?

Improving Patient Experience and Choice held in Sydney on 10 – 11 October 2016, is a premier two-day forum bringing together key stakeholders from Government, Health Districts, Hospitals and Health Care Providers.

My company Energesse is happy to be the Knowledge Partner at this event. In line with this, will be chairing Day 1 of the conference and will also be leading the workshop:

The 6 E Framework

A step-by-step guide to improving patient experience for PX champions

This workshop presents the 6 E Framework, a step by step guide on how to holistically improve patient experience, adaptable for any healthcare setting. This workshop will provide you with tools and techniques that you can use immediately.

improve px

With the UK’s NHS Head of Experience of Care, David McNally, and other C-Suite Executives, Directors and Leaders in Patient Experience speaking at this event. This two-day forum is a timely event for you to develop strategies and share expertise on improving patient experience and choice in Australia.

Here’s a sneak peek at other program highlights

International keynote:

  • David McNally, Head of Experience of Care, NHS England

Patient-centered culture and care

  • Carrie Marr, Chief Executive, Clinical Excellence Commission
  • Robin Whyte, Chief Executive Officer, Eastern Melbourne PHN
  • Rene Pennock, Chief Executive Officer, South Western Sydney PHN

The final early-bird ends this month, 30th September 2016 (Friday).   You may also avail of group discounts, call 02 9368 3915.

Hope you will join me, David McNally, Jean-Frederic and other leading patient experience professionals from Australia in October – for an unrivalled networking opportunity and unprecedented access to Australia’s leading patient experience champions.

If you wish to have a chat before the workshop, I’d be happy to get on a call. Drop me a note at or call 02 8091 0918.


It’s Not What You Think About Them. It’s How They Feel About You.

Walk into a healthcare boardroom and you’ll find C-suite managers poring over hard data reports, analytics that tell them that, mostly, all patients are happy with them, all KPIs have been achieved. Shimmy up to the nurse manager on duty, and you’ll find out that she’s weary but yay, three patients have been discharged (including the one with the demanding hubby), so it’s all good. Take the lift down to reception, and they’ll tell you different tales of woe and wonder. Why don’t these stories always align? After all, there is a myriad of measurement taking place – statistical data, patient surveys, focus groups, patient emails, improved processes and tools….

Creating a true, holistic picture of the patient experience is challenging. The disparate pieces of research that take place in a healthcare setting don’t always fit together or come together. Staff are listening to differing views, reading contradictory reports and acting on different outcomes and priorities. Indeed, in a 2015 patient experience survey of 1561 respondents from healthcare settings in over 21 countries, less than half had actually formally defined patient experience for their organisation (Beryl Institute).

Our 6E Framework aims to improve patient experience by offering healthcare settings a step-by-step guide on how to produce this true holistic picture. It not only gets you thinking about mapping the patient journey and uniting the disparate pieces of data that is collected throughout your setting on this ‘journey’ (EXPERIENCE), but it ensures the encapsulation of ‘patient stories’ and patient feelings (EMOTIONS) to build one clear purpose for all staff to follow (ENERGY) in improving the patient journey. It helps you develop an accurate strategic plan and implement solutions (EXECUTION) and ensures you measure and repeat your successes (EXCELLENCE). Ultimately, the framework develops your organisational capability in patient experience (EVOLUTION).

The Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust and Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust are examples of healthcare organisations that benefited from sound advice with improving their patient experience:

  • Response rates quadrupled, covering more age, gender and ethnicity groups.
  • Solid mapping and measurement of patient journey elements allowed for immediate implementable strategies – many as simple as the need to disseminate more information or provide further explanation to patients – to address concerns and issues.
  • When the patient experience measurement was repeated within the same year, the level of patient satisfaction had significantly increased – doubled and tripled in some cases!
  • In the Hertfordshire case, in some wards, 100% respondents felt listened to (up from 54%).

Patient Journeys. Emotions. A Team Living Its Purpose.

For some, these are soft, soppy, intangible metrics to measure. But for those in the industry of caring, there’s no denying its culture-changing results at the front-line.