Measuring Success Along the Digital Patient Journey
We’ve discussed the importance of journey maps and how your organization can align to develop an outstanding patient experience. Let’s look at how to effectively measure success along the patient journey, and how you can demonstrate a strong return on investment to leadership.
After all, successful patient experiences are an important part of your brand. Research shows that satisfied patients are five times more likely to recommend a healthcare organization or provider to someone else. That satisfaction begins long before a patient steps foot into an office or hospital: It begins when they research a potential provider, schedule an appointment or read about the services and resources available for a particular diagnosis or disease. These interactions happen online, in person and over the phone.
It’s critical for your patient journey to be consistent across a variety of platforms. It is also important to determine goals and objectives and define tools to effectively measure progress toward those goals. To get you started, we’ve identified a few key ways you can measure and demonstrate success across the patient journey.
Success Begins with Clear Goals
When your team works across your organization, one of the first steps is to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success. These goals keep departments across the organization on the same page as they implement consistent and effective digital strategies and tactics to guide customers along the journey map.
KPIs for patient experience can vary by project goals, but often include:
Net promoter score
Customer adoption rate
Lifetime value metric
Patient satisfaction (or customer or user satisfaction) can be measured in several different ways. The point is to capture feedback from the user to better understand what could be improved. User surveys are one good way to gather this type of feedback. These could include simple, in-context surveys launched from a brand website based on demographic targeting.
Tools like Google Survey or ForeSee can even target users based on specific action, such as the number of pages visited or time spent on a specific page. For example, if you want to better understand how easy it is to use an online e-visit tool, you could ask users to complete a brief survey at the end of their initial questionnaire. Important feedback can even be captured in the office or hospital with a survey via a tablet or lobby kiosk.
Patient surveys provide an excellent opportunity to uncover a richer understanding of gaps or opportunities in your customer journey map. Data about top patient complaints can help troubleshoot issues, or identify problems before they become an issue. Comments and ratings on your website can also offer a glimpse into your patient’s perception of your organization. More sophisticated tools can even do sentiment analysis of your social media channels, comments on content and user forums, which can help take an accurate temperature of customer satisfaction.
The required Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey focuses on the patient experience of care during a hospital stay and can offer some insights for measuring the overall satisfaction of the patient. You can also add specific questions to your organization’s survey to measure other touchpoints in the consumer journey.
Net Promoter Score
A net promoter score gives insight into brand loyalty. This is a key measure to understand how likely a patient is to refer your healthcare facilities or providers to someone else or how likely they are to return. Coupled with data from customer satisfaction scores, you begin to see a more robust picture of your organization’s perception in the community.
Net promoter score is measure on a scale of 0 to 10 on how likely a customer is to recommend a brand to a friend or colleague, with 10 being the most likely. It’s usually asked via a survey, and again, must be paired with additional data and research to fully understand the rating and any possible implications.
Patient Adoption Rate
The first step in measuring patient adoption rate is defining what adoption means for your goals. Does it mean users have completed a conversion goal, like signed up for a newsletter or taken an online health assessment? Does it mean they use a set of features, such as physician search, appointment scheduling, or personal health record?
Once you have defined how you are going to measure adoption, your adoption rate will be the number of users who meet your adoption criteria (such as online bill pay), divided by your total number of users.
Lifetime Value Metric
A lifetime value metric is the amount of profit a customer will bring in over the entire time they are engaged with your brand. That number is crucial when it comes to healthcare, since patients use services intermittently based on need. An ongoing relationship that extends between delivering services is important to build customer retention and loyalty. Those touchpoints can also improve health. Online health and wellness education, live events with opportunities to ask a physician, support groups and exercise classes can help consumers maintain their health and build loyalty to your brand. This comprehensive approach can help patients, and communities, get and stay healthy.
A lifetime value is typically calculated by the average spend per patient for a period of time, multiplied by your average margin. Then, that number is divided by the average percent decrease in customers for that period of time. Patient data can be a rich source of determining lifetime value, along with benchmarks to compare to other organizations.
Similar to the adoption rate, organizations must first define what “engagement” means for your brand. Some common engagement metrics include:
Time of engagement (time on site, number of articles read or videos watched
Sharing (social media or email sharing)
Subscribing to content (email or RSS)
Commenting on or rating a product or provider
Participating in community forums
Submitting content (writing blog posts)
A good engagement plan will consider several of these metrics for a more holistic view of the depth and breadth of customer engagement.
Putting the Pieces Together
Measuring the success of your patients’ experience is integral to being able to iterate and scale your healthcare organization digitally, and defining clear goals and metrics are key steps in demonstrating a strong return on investment to leadership.
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