patient feedback Archives - Binary Fountain

Uncovering Insights in Digital Patient Feedback

patient feedback in healthcare

Historically patient feedback in healthcare was measured solely with CAHPS surveys. Now that’s changed.

Whether you work for a hospital, physician practice, or another type of healthcare organization, patient feedback is now scattered across multiple sources. This feedback can be collected from online reviews, social media, patient surveys and even call center data. The challenge is to make sense of all this information. Buried within these open-ended comments are meaningful insights that can be used to improve the patient experience and your organization’s reputation.

Patient Feedback in Healthcare Challenges

The need to quickly analyze feedback at scale is only becoming more vital. You need to follow the trend on this data as well as quickly drill down into the details to identify issues that need to be resolved. Even the online reviews and surveys one practice receives can be overwhelming to manage – and it can impact their business. So, what strategy will you adopt to gain value from patient feedback?

Arm Yourself with Healthcare-specific NLP

As scientific as it sounds, natural language processing (NLP) uncovers meaningful insights from everyday language that can be found in millions of online reviews, surveys, and other sources. Identifying and analyzing keywords and phrases in unstructured comments, along with the context of how they’re being used, can reveal useful information. NLP is one of the most powerful tools a system can use to understand and act on the patient experience.

Some NLP tools are designed to work across multiple industries, but we don’t recommend them for measuring patient experience. Patients are unique consumers using unique terms for services unlike any other.

For this reason, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work well when it comes to the understanding of patient experience. Healthcare can learn valuable lessons from other industries, but feedback provided about a physician or specialist requires a more targeted NLP. It’s unlikely that NLP designed to analyze reviews for auto shops, retailers or restaurants would effectively hospitals, urgent care, and primary care clinics.

Binary Fountain took the approach of creating a healthcare-centric NLP from the ground up to understand the nuances of healthcare language. We break patient experience down into categories to help you draw specific and actionable insights.

Among these categories, insights from comments could be related to Timely Care, Patient Inclusion in Decision, and the Overall Experience while revealing their sentiment. Our NLP even allows you to drill down into the root cause of the issue, helping make this information actionable.

Our specialized NLP allows the healthcare system or practice to dig deep and identify the issue causing poor patient experience – and fix them. Ultimately, “the why” behind a review is the true value.

The Relationship Between Data and Reputation

In an era where nearly half of healthcare consumers use reviews to find care, your online reputation is more important than ever. Therefore, the only way to truly boost your reputation is by taking your ratings and reviews into account and acting upon them accordingly.

You should note, however, that a blanket number of aggregate star ratings will not help you make meaningful changes. Aggregate star ratings merely indicate an average of what people think of your business. Your star ratings and large data sets involving customer sentiment can give you a broader idea of how well you are doing. Note, however, that these ratings derive from individual feedback.

Individual customer reviews give you more nuanced data on what you are doing well and what can be improved. It is this feedback that gives you the ground-level information necessary to make operational changes and improve the patient experience.

Of course, whether or not you can make these changes depends upon how attuned you are to these reviews. If you are not aware of the reviews you receive, or you have no way of organizing, managing, and responding to them, these bits of small data become useless. You need proper customer engagement strategies and online review management solutions to read and reply to all feedback.

Healthcare organizations must monitor both the micro-level details and the broad view of their brand’s standing. Improvement in overall patient experiences happens at this intersection of big and small healthcare feedback analytics.

Use Patient Feedback in Healthcare to Take Action

Never miss out on an opportunity to build patient loyalty and create a better patient experience. Engaging your patients online or offline is key. Timely patient complaint service recovery could turn a bad review into a positive overall experience.

Physician engagement in online reputation is also key, as patient feedback is a learning moment. Providers and institutions can use feedback data to identify areas of improvement. Healthcare organizations like Temple University Health System are exemplary when it comes to making this data actionable. As a result, their patient experience scores and reputation management programs have improved.

Online Reviews Correlate to HCAHPS

CAHPS and HCAHPS surveys are another rich source of patient feedback and tend to correlate to online feedback. One previous Binary Fountain study found a strong, positive correlation (0.54 coefficient) between patient feedback scores calculated from unstructured online reviews and HCAHPS Top Box scores (overall rating domain).

This why effective healthcare NPS software must also capture survey feedback, such as HCAHPS, in addition to online feedback. Every additional source of feedback harvests new individual insights that could add up to massive improvement in patient experience.

Understand What’s Important to Your Patients

The answers toward improving the patient experience are in front of you. You already have a wealth of patient feedback, you only need to make sense of it. To take the next step, and you need tools created specifically for the healthcare environment to have a positive, meaningful impact on the patient experience.

Having a comprehensive view of patient metrics and insights can help you achieve valuable competitive advantages. Many healthcare organizations are already benchmarking their performance against other healthcare organizations. Healthcare is trending toward the consumer experience. The health systems that embrace this shift will find themselves winning new patients and building long-term loyalty.

Want to learn more about how Binary Fountain can improve your online reputation?

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Value-Based Care, Payers, and Patient Experience Data

value-based-care-payerAs value-based care flourishes, payers are starting to pay special attention to key steps on the patient’s care journey. In order to understand that journey and efficiently lower the costs of care, payers need to address questions about the member experience:

How do members navigate the systems payers have in place? How do they feel about the network of providers? Can members easily access important tools like telemedicine? How do members rate the overall quality of their health plan?

An increasing number of Natural Language Processing (NLP) powered tools are allowing organizations to swiftly collect and analyze bulk patient feedback. This technology allows users to quickly quantify and analyze open-text patient feedback. For payers, it’s a tool to understand and measure the entire patient journey and all aspects of member experience.

This post will explore how payers can use patient feedback data to improve patient experience, provider experience, and administrative workflows. Then, you’ll see how these improvements lead to lower healthcare costs and better outcomes.

How Can Payers Improve Patient Experience?

Payers can expand their access to customer feedback by increasing the types of surveys they analyze beyond CAHPS and HOS. Surveying can detect member sentiments on health plans, feedback on providers, and other trends in open-text feedback.

Organizations can build a comprehensive data hub by collecting patient feedback from surveys, call centers, social media reviews, and other member sources. Then, NLP analysis can turn that data into patient experience insights across multiple categories at the provider level.

Here are some ways payers are improving the patient experience with feedback data:

  • Capturing ratings and reviews in member portals so patients can see feedback and make decisions on their care journey
  • Providing scores for individual providers so members can utilize quantitative data from other patient’s experiences to compare options Proactively surveying members quickly after each episode of care to get real-time feedback
  • Using feedback to benchmark provider performance and help them improve. Physician and provider liaisons can follow up with providers on cost, quality, and patient feedback data
  • Leveraging scoring and feedback data in care coordination and referral management

NLP data helps payers understand what drives positive patient experience both inside and outside of the provider’s office. This includes members’ choices of their network providers on their patient portals and continues through each step of the care journey.

Quantify Patient Experience for Each Provider

Payers can also analyze patient feedback to measure provider performance. According to research, patients care most about the following provider experience quality measures:

  1. Thoroughness of examination
  2. Patient inclusion in decisions
  3. Ability to answer questions
  4. Provider’s attitude
  5. Patient perceived outcomes
  6. Amount of time spent with patients
  7. Provider’s follow-up with patients
  8. Clarity of care plan instructions
  9. Patient loyalty
  10. General Feedback

Payers can use these 10 patient experience categories to analyze feedback about each provider in their network. Subsequently, they can share insights and trends with their networks of providers to help guide better patient experiences.

Open-text, or unstructured, feedback allows patients to communicate their exact feelings and observations. In contrast, multiple-choice answers force survey respondents to compromise on the closest fit response. NLP technology allows payers to rapidly process this free-response feedback. First, the software detects patient sentiment through words and phrases in patient feedback. It can then easily quantify and translate those insights into patient experience scores.

Reducing the time period between care delivery and patient experience feedback is critical. In order to assist, software tools can integrate with APIs and health system EMRs for immediate, high-quality feedback. In addition, payers can publish this member-generated content on their websites and provide profiles to be transparent and consumer-friendly.

Here are ways insurers and managed care organizations can increase transparency by sharing patient experience data:

  • Create a Patient Experience score alongside Cost and Quality metrics for search pages and provider profiles
  • Allow patients to sort and filter patient experience scores by specific key performance indicators
  • Showcase provider feedback on member portals to encourage patient content

Supporting Providers, Solving Workflow Funnels, and Making Value-Based Care Possible for Payers

As payers capture patient feedback data to optimize their networks, they can also improve provider experience. Insights about network providers and staff will help payers understand how to support providers in their network.

  • Provider Performance Management: Use custom patient experience reports to understand trends and benchmarks for providers.
  • Referral Insights: Share patient experience insights with PCPs to broaden the data scope on referrals for members.
  • Internal Stakeholders: Optimize health plans and networks through Root Cause Analysis.

Provider feedback could be particularly useful as healthcare reimbursement shifts from fee-for-service based models to value-based payment programs. In order to keep the focus on patient care and maintain high-performance results, alternative payment models need to reduce provider burdens.

Provider feedback data will be an important source for effective change for payers through this value-based care reimbursement transition. Therefore, payers should track how their policies are affecting providers’ ability to care for their patients.

Insurance companies could also track how changes affect provider satisfaction. Happy providers lead to happy patient members, which make loyal customers. Not to mention, provider survey data is key to achieving the Quadruple Aim of healthcare, which you can read about here.

For more on payers and patient experience, browse these related posts:

[Webinar Recap] How a Multi-Specialty Physician Group Leverages Patient Feedback

webinar-steward-patient-feedbackAs the healthcare consumer journey continues to change, prioritizing patient experience enhancements requires monitoring real-time feedback data across all your services – physical or virtual.

In our latest webinar, we brought together Joan Cox, national senior director of patient experience at Steward Medical Group, and Andrew Rainey, Binary Fountain’s executive vice president of strategy and corporate development, to discuss ways to use patient feedback to prioritize patient experience improvements at scale.

We covered how the national physician group uses survey and review data to benchmark provider performance, gain physician adoption for its telemedicine programs, and improve care outcomes.

Click here to watch the on-demand webinar.

Here are the key takeaways:

Leveraging Patient Feedback Data from Surveys and Reviews

To implement process improvement programs at scale, Steward collects and monitors patient feedback daily and distributes reports weekly.

The weekly patient experience reports include the following metrics: Provider Feedback Score (PFS) ratings, the number of completed surveys, and Net Promoter Score (NPS) benchmarking. The organization weighs the feedback differently depending on whether the source is an online review or patient survey. They focus on overall trends across those metrics, as opposed to an individual week’s or month’s rankings.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, review responses and patient communication have become crucial elements of patient experience at Steward. Cox recommends asking for feedback only when you have the time to respond and engage with the patient. This will give you the ability to repair any damage that’s been done by a patient’s negative experience.

To engage your employees, Steward highlights positive patient feedback in a monthly newsletter and hosts the feedback on an employee engagement SharePoint page.

“Positive comments are the backbone of employee engagement, and negative comments are the focus for patient engagement,” Cox says.

Benchmarking and Gaining Provider Buy-In

Internally, Steward is using patient feedback to benchmark practices and gain provider buy-in for initiatives like their telemedicine programs. Starting with survey and review data, the organization benchmarks patient experience ratings at both the provider and practice levels, which helps to identify where to focus on improvements across their locations.

Steward focuses mostly on practices that have significant survey volume, so there is a complete picture of its performance. The patient experience priorities are centered around its major areas of concern, as well – feedback about providers or employee engagement will receive more attention than feedback about facilities.

Positive patient feedback has helped support provider adoption for Steward’s telemedicine program, which is not mandatory for their physicians. Cox uses positive comments from Binary Fountain’s platform to share around the organization, nudging hesitant physicians toward using the technology.

Reporting Patient Experience Successes

Connecting patient experience directly to business objectives is never easy, but internal benchmarking based on patient feedback is helping Steward improve across several performance categories. Success is celebrated more than negative trends in reports, Cox says, but Steward “doesn’t shy away from showing who’s at top and bottom.”

One notable success was how Steward used feedback data from before and after piloting a primary care call center to show its impact on patient experience, leading to the approval and budget to expand it nationally. Its “practice champion” initiative also gained approval using survey metrics as a foundation – growing from 10 to 275 participants in less than three years.

Another major piece of validation for the organization was comparing PFS from before and after implementing patient experience measurements based on feedback data. Steward has reported a year-over-year improvement in risk contracting and in its patient engagement, which now is measured right alongside organization-wide revenue numbers.

For more insights and advice, click here to watch the on-demand webinar. 

Read more about customer feedback data and patient experience:

Kure Pain Management Strives Toward World Class Patient Experience with Digital Patient Feedback

Insights from digital patient surveys can help healthcare organizations plan their next moves in the journey towards creating a world-class patient experience.

This month, we spoke with Nick LaRosa, Director of Sales and Marketing at Kure Pain Management, about the organization’s recent push to get patient feedback via surveys using the Binary Health Analytics platform. Here, Nick gives us insights into the initial challenges they faced and what they’ve since been able to successfully accomplish.

Hi Nick, can you give us a little background on what drove the need for this initiative around patient feedback? 

We knew we wanted to deliver excellent customer service across our seven healthcare centers but we didn’t have an effective way to measure patient experience. We had no idea how our customer service processes were performing and we believed we were at risk of losing a large number of patients. So we sought out a solution to help us better understand how we were performing and what specific changes we needed to make to become a world-class organization.

What steps did you take to address those needs and get this initiative going?

Once we identified the Binary Health Analytics platform, we immediately saw it as a crucial tool to helping us gain patient feedback, benchmark and track progress.

We had previously been using iPads to conduct post-care patient surveys, and this was a very time-consuming process. So, we began the initiative by switching to digital patient surveys through email campaigns with Binary Health Analytics, which greatly improved time management with office staff. And once the data and feedback started coming in, we uncovered significant patient concerns and immediately began addressing them.

What challenges did you face along the way? How did you address them?

There was some initial pushback from physicians and others throughout Kure. They didn’t think there were any issues, and they assumed the organization was doing a great job at patient satisfaction. However, to our good fortune, using Binary Fountain’s platform helped us reveal and share insights on how patients were really feeling. It was a definite eye-opener.

To address adoption, I started forwarding the negative surveys to highlight what pain points the organization or specific physicians needed to tackle. At that point, everyone in the organization agreed there were indeed issues that needed to be addressed. Moving forward, we celebrated positive reviews together and held staff accountable for negative reviews, while motivating them to improve.

How is this initiative impacting the organization?

This initiative has brought about positive results for our organization. It has helped us greatly improve customer service by educating staff members and introducing better-quality processes. This has significantly increased patient satisfaction and loyalty.

Measurable data is really giving us the drive and baseline to improve the customer lifecycle. For instance, one physician really wanted to see his patient experience scores and feedback. He was a brilliant doctor, but his scores didn’t fare so well in the customer service category. Once he was aware of the areas he needed to improve upon, he went from the lowest scoring physician at the practice to the top scoring doctor by implementing personal changes.

The fact that surveys and scores are being circulated throughout the organization keeps physicians accountable and creates a friendly competition to be the best.

What have the outcomes been to date?

Since implementing this initiative over nine months ago, the digital patient surveys have helped to significantly improve our online reviews and scores by about 95 percent. Kure Pain Management’s Yelp review score went up 110 percent for example, and our GooglePlus score increased by 314 percent.

All in all, positive online reviews have increased over 30 percent, while negative reviews have gone down by more than 60 percent. We’ve also seen a huge increase in patient experience scores, where patient loyalty went up about 35 percent and timely care scores soared over 100 percent.

And finally, what has Binary Fountain’s technology platform helped you do?

The Binary Health Analytics platform has allowed us to measure how we do as a business and provides precise direction on how we can successfully continue forward. We’ve been able to track performance with automated reports, communicate internally and develop our staff. It’s also helped improve staff time management, decrease patient wait times and even reduce spending across the organization. We’re striving to become world class and Binary Health Analytics is helping us get there.

The platform has helped us improve our reputation and the brand image of Kure Pain Management by increasing transparency throughout the organization as well as with our patients.

To learn more about how Binary Health Analytics can help improve your organization, contact us at

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