3 ways Advocate Health Care inspires patient loyalty, satisfaction

hospital campus

Chicago-based Advocate Health Care is moving away from traditional metrics of patient satisfaction and instead uses patient loyalty to determine how happy patients are with the care they receive.

Keeping track of patient loyalty can drive consumer decisions on health plans and where to get care, write Rishi Sikka, M.D., senior vice president of clinical operations for Advocate, Tina Esposito, vice president of Advocate’s Center for Health Information Services, and Jim Skogsbergh, CEO of Advocate and chair of the American Hospital System, in an article for Hospitals & Health Networks.

Advocate tracks patient loyalty in part by using specific responses to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, according to the article, examining questions like “Would you recommend this hospital to your family and friends?”

The system has deployed a number of initiatives that its hospitals can use to improve the entire patient experience and increase loyalty to the organization, the authors write, including:

  • Promoting price transparency. Advocate actively responds to consumer requests for prices and estimated out-of-pocket costs for care, according to the article. This presents challenges, the authors write, as Advocate’s hospitals work to standardize costs for procedures and provide the information to a central call center, so that patients looking to schedule appointments can get accurate estimates based on their insurance plans.

  • Offering convenient access to care. Advocate’s facilities provide more same-day appointments and extended hours, according to the article, to accomodate more patients when it is convenient for them. The system is also operating clinics in Walgreens stores for low-cost and easy to access non-emergency care, and is working to make it possible for patients to meet with providers via video and text evisits.

  • Improving care coordination. Advocate provides patient navigators to oncology patients, according to the article, as cancer treatment requires a large number of appointments, specialists and disciplines to manage at once. The system also promotes transition coaching service to help patients who may not have access to home healthcare after discharge, according to the article.

Advocate’s leaders believe other hospitals and health systems can replicate their patient-centered initiatives. “This will allow other healthcare organizations to move from a system that is fragmented and transactional to one that is consumer-centric, continuous and value-oriented,” the authors write.

- read the HHN article