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The Patient Experience Report Card: Gauge Your Readiness

By Jeff Gourdji, Partner, Prophet and Laura Jacobs, MPH, President, GE Healthcare Camden Group

There's probably no organization in the healthcare universe that isn't at least talking about patient experience. But after interviewing hundreds of them, from small providers to massive hospital systems, we've learned that most are still struggling to attain optimal performance. They want to make patients happy, but they are unable or unsure how to achieve consistent results.

They've got legitimate reasons for lagging behind: While they all know patient satisfaction is important, many are in merge-or-die mode, which comes with a host of regulatory scrutiny. More pressing problems, such as controlling the cost of care, are demanding top executives' attention. Almost all hospital CEOs say patient experience is on their radar, making it into the top-10 list of concerns. But it rarely cracks the top three.

Smart organizations know that has to change. As the competitive landscape shifts to a world of mega-systems, patient experience will provide one of the few ways to differentiate, and ultimately succeed.

To understand the state of patient experience, Prophet and GE Healthcare Camden Group conducted intensive research among healthcare executives and created a maturity model based on our findings. We learned that most organizations fall into four broad stages of performance, and there are steps to take to transition from one stage to the next. An honest appraisal of where an organization is now is the only way to get better.

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