Press Release - Feb 28, 2013
The Patient Satisfaction Chasm
is a central component of any discussion around health care and one of the key
dimensions and measurements of quality care is the patient experience.
However, many healthcare organizations struggle to
become ‘patient focused' and fail to score well on patient satisfaction
surveys. New research from Brigham and Women's Hospital, published
in the March edition of British Medical
Journal Quality and Safety, offers a potential explanation --
insufficient support from hospital management to improve the patient experience
by engaging physicians and nurses in the process.
"Twelve years after the
Institute of Medicine's Quality
Chasm report called for fundamental improvement to patient-centered
care, our findings raise concern as to whether hospital management is actively
engaging clinicians in enhancing patient satisfaction," said Ronen
Rozenblum, PhD, MPH, lead author of the study and a researcher in the Center
of Patient Safety Research & Practice at BWH.
research findings are based on a survey of 1004
physicians and nurses at four academic hospitals in Denmark, Israel, the UK and
the United States. Results indicate that despite expanding initiatives,
and the belief of most healthcare organizations that patient experience and
satisfaction is important, the majority do not have a structured plan for how
frontline providers can improve patient satisfaction during hospitalization.
Specifically researchers report that while 90.4 percent of
clinicians surveyed believed improving patient satisfaction during
hospitalization was achievable, only 9.2 percent of the clinicians said their
department had a structured plan for improving patient satisfaction during
hospitalization. Additionally researchers found that of the clinicians
38 percent remembered targeted actions
that were conducted in their department in order to improve patient satisfaction.
34 percent stated that during the last
twelve months they had received feedback from hospital management regarding the
level of patient satisfaction in their department.
85 percent thought hospital management
should take a more active role in patient satisfaction improvement programs.
83 percent believed achieving high level
of patient satisfaction was important for the clinical success of healthcare
"Organizations that are successful in fostering a culture of
patient-centered care have incorporated it as a strategic investment priority
by committed leadership, active measurement, feedback of patient satisfaction
and engagement of patients and staff," said David
Bates, MD, Chief Quality Officer at BWH and senior author of the
paper. "We, in healthcare organizations, need to take a more active role
in developing and implementing programs to improve patient experience and
satisfaction and also in identifying ways to engage frontline clinicians in
this process as well as ensuring they get routine feedback about patient
experience and satisfaction. Ultimately, the patient experience is at the
Now that this chasm has been identified and defined, Drs. Bates
and Rozenblum are working to address it. They created a
framework for a patient experience culture and have begun to take the next
steps to test and implement this structured patient satisfaction model.
said, "In order to improve, we need a systematic approach that starts at the bedside and grows up through hospital management
levels to policy makers, all of whom should be committed to shifting
healthcare organizations toward a culture of patient experience by making
patient experience a strategic investment priority."
This research was partially supported by NHS South Central (UK).