Patient Experience Definition

Discover the most accepted Patient Experience Definition

Nowadays patient experience is a key topic among the industry professionals, however, there is no standardized definition, there are many.
Among them, the definition of The Beryl Institute is the one standing out according to the number of references in the sector. Quoting:

Patient Experience Definition:

"The patient experience is the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions, across the continuum of care"

To understand this definition we shall elaborate each of the four concepts:

1. Interactions are those previously established contact points that the patient experiences with the health center.
2. Culture refers to people, vision, community, and values defining a company overall.
3. Perceptions are everything that patients remember, understand, and recognize on their journey through the organization. These may vary depending on the personal experiences of each patient.
4. Finally, the continuum of care includes all those actions carried out by the organization’s professionals before, during, and after the client's visit.

The article “Defining Patient Experience” published in the magazine Patient Experience Journal (PXJ) analyzes 18 definitions previously used in literature. As a summary, we propose some interesting reflections about the concept of the patient experience:

  • In many cases, patient experience goes beyond the simple satisfaction because the latter is eminently rational, while the patient's experience is a mixture of the rational and emotional performance of an organization, assimilated through the patient's expectations. Quoting the article “What is the Patient Experience?'' from the Gallup Business Journal, the ideal Patient Experience meets these four basic emotional needs: trust, integrity, pride and passion. It ultimately states it must emotionally engage patients. Authors such as Needham support the idea that the patient experience goes beyond satisfaction. They suggest that it must be framed within the concept of ability to respond, which includes: autonomy, choice, communication, confidentiality, dignity, prompt attention and quality of basic services. In this sense, it proposes three actions that will help to shape a positive experience: personalized medicine, association with patients and employees’ empowerment.
  • A large number of definitions of patient experience focus on expectations. Bowling et al. (2012), for example, conducted a comprehensive review of patient expectations by assessing pre-visit expectations and post-visit experience. Experience expectations include: cleanliness, information on where to go, convenience and punctuality, being on time, choice of hospital/doctor, helpful front desk staff, knowledgeable doctor, clarity and ease of explanations/instructions, participation in treatment decisions, experiencing a reduction in symptoms/problems, being treated with dignity and respect, conveying support/reassurance, receiving advice about health or your condition, information about the cause and management of your condition, information about the benefits/side effects of treatment and being given opportunity to discuss problems.
  • In conclusion, most of the publications agree that the more precise the definition of the patient's experience is, the easier it will be to understand the variables that compose it, the tools for their measurement, and in consequence the ability to find ways to improve them. 

RateNow is the reference in the measurement of Patient Experience thanks to the hundreds of implementations in organizations like yours.  Do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to learn about your project and explain how we can help you. 


Related articles:

Wolf, Jason A. PhD, CPXP; Niederhauser, Victoria DrPH, RN; Marshburn, et al., "Defining Patient experience", Patient experience Journal.

Female doctor talking to male patient lying in hospital bed by Jacob Lund Photography from Noun Project

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