How analyzing data from online reviews, clinical surveys can improve patient experience

At KureSmart Pain Management, patient loyalty and physician ratings increased after the launch of their new business intelligence strategy, an executive said.
By Bill Siwicki
04:36 PM
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A couple of years ago, KureSmart Pain Management began researching healthcare technology platforms to help it manage the patient experience and its online reputation.

“We didn’t have a way to measure how we were performing when it came to the patient experience," said Nick LaRosa, Director of Sales and Marketing.

Business intelligence and analytics are more important than ever in healthcare as provider organizations look to improve care while trimming costs and gaining efficiencies – the so-called Triple Aim of healthcare, which ultimately should also improve the patient experience.

[Also: University of Iowa children's hospital puts patient experience first]

There are a many players in the healthcare business intelligence technology sector including Acmeware, Datawatch, Domo, Epic Systems, GetWellNetwork, MEDHOST, Qlikview, SAS, Siemens, Sisense, Strata Decision Technology, TEKsystems and TIBCO Software.

What KureSmart liked most about their choice, Binary Fountain, was that "it provided hard data and analytics, not someone’s subjective guess or opinion," LaRosa said. "It provided KureSmart with a quantifiable method for measuring and improving our patient experience. And with the platform’s natural language processing, we could analyze feedback from a multitude of sources like online reviews and patient experience surveys captured from the system’s email campaigns."

[Also: HIMSS18 Patient Engagement and Experience Summit: New strategies for precision medicine, telehealth, social determinants]

The platform also enabled KureSmart staff members to benchmark performance across different patient experience categories. And with limited resources, it provided a time-saving way to manage the initiative by aggregating all feedback into a single view, LaRosa said.

So, for example, KureSmart focused on patient experience areas such as how physicians dealt with patients and how front desk staff handled customers. The organization analyzed data from multiple sources to get a big picture of where it was doing well and where there were opportunities for improvement.

"Benchmark reports helped us compare our physicians and each office’s performance," LaRosa explained. "We could even drill down into the data to get to the heart of a patient’s concern – or compliment. The insights gathered were used as a professional development tool, highlighting areas of improvement both for the staff and for the company overall."

It turned out sharing patient feedback data with physicians was an eye opener for the docs.

"We had one instance where a very skilled physician scored at the bottom in how patients viewed him," LaRosa remembered. "Realizing this, he took steps to improve and became our top-performing physician in that patient experience category."

With the help of the IT, KureSmart Pain Management’s overall patient experience score increased by 68 percent and patient loyalty increased by 52 percent, LaRosa reported.

"When aggregating data on our physicians, their overall rating increased 59 percent and bedside manner increased 150 percent," he said. "We also saw an increase in the number of positive online reviews by 52 percent. Between 2016 and 2017, KureSmart saw a 4 percent increase in utilization rate and achieved a 29 percent growth rate that nearly doubled our number of new patients."

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com