Measuring Patient Satisfaction in a Direct Primary Care Medical Home Model

Related topics: Patient satisfaction
December 9, 2015

Measuring Patient Satisfaction in a Direct Primary Care Medical Home Model

In 2001, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a detailed report, Crossing the Quality Chasm:  a New Health System for the 21st Century, which examines the gap between what is considered good healthcare and the level of healthcare that people actually receive. According to the report, “The U.S. healthcare delivery system does not provide consistent, high quality medical care to all people. Americans should be able to count on receiving care that meets their needs and is based on the best scientific knowledge—yet there is strong evidence that this frequently is not the case.”

Additionally, the IOM cites that ensuring care is patient-centered is an essential goal for achieving high-quality healthcare. The approach that seems to work best in measuring the quality of care provided is by surveying patients directly about their experiences in the healthcare setting. Many times it is the only way to determine if a high-quality, patient-centered experience actually occurred. The intent is to learn about the experience of care from the patient and family perspective, rather than those who are providing the care.

Assessing and reporting patient satisfaction using NPS metrics

As an alternative to using traditional customer satisfaction research methods, patient experience can be measured through the Net Promoter Score (NPS); a customer loyalty and satisfaction metric. It measures promoters and detractors of a service through survey questions ranked one to ten, and scored according to a developed methodology. Any NPS above 50 is considered to be excellent.  As an example, the NPS metric for the health insurance industry as a whole is only 12, which is far less than many other consumer-focused industries that have experienced their own challenges in providing service excellence e.g. cable companies, airlines.

The consumer experience of Direct Primary Care (DPC) is very different from the overall healthcare industry experience. In DPC practices, consumers receive patient-centered care that far exceeds their expectations, and according to some consumers, it almost seems to be “too good to be true.”  As an innovative provider of primary care services offered through its Direct Primary Care Medical Home, Paladina Health has been differentiating itself by delivering higher quality care while reducing total costs for our clients. Paladina Health currently has an overall NPS score of 72. In this model of care delivery, physicians are financially incentivized in part based on their NPS score―their own measure of patient satisfaction. Our doctors’ office staff also have a bonus incentive based on the doctor’s office and overall company NPS. So, the results are considered very important to the physician and care team as a whole.

Improving healthcare results and accountability with NPS metrics

Paladina Health places so much importance on patient satisfaction that we not only hold front-line care teams accountable to the NPS metrics but we also hold all teammates responsible for patient satisfaction scores. Paladina Health’s teammates’ corporate and clinical incentive compensation programs are tied to NPS so they reach specific goals together. By utilizing the NPS tool, the metrics provide a consistent, easy-to-use, easy-to-report, and reliable standard for measuring patient and client satisfaction. Matter of fact, the tool is so powerful in indicating exactly how the service level provided is perceived by patients, that when there is a drop in scores for specific physicians, care teams, or locations; we can quickly react and intervene to address the reason for the drop.

With NPS scores that are rivaling Apple, Trader Joe’s and Amazon.com, it’s no wonder that the healthcare industry is starting to take note of how the Direct Primary Care patient-centered approach is systematically improving patient satisfaction and health outcomes.      

Paladina Health, a subsidiary of DaVita HealthCare Partners, helps employers, payers, health systems, and labor organizations provide dramatically improved access to full-service primary care, which leads to better population health, lower medical costs and high patient satisfaction through the company’s Direct Primary Care Medical Home model. Learn more.

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