Segment patient experience data to better improve care

To provide the most comfortable care for patients, hospitals should look to segmented data analysis to get into the nuts and blots of patients' individual experiences.

A new whitepaper from consulting group Press Ganey recommends that hospitals look into three possible ways to group patient experience responses to improve their care: by service type, by condition or by age.

“In today’s consumer-driven healthcare environment, patients are assuming a more active role in managing decisions about their care, including where and from whom they want to receive it,” according to the whitepaper. “As such, providers are challenged to sustain and increase patient loyalty by better understanding and meeting patients’ needs and reducing their suffering wherever possible.”

Each type of segmentation has its benefits, according to the whitepaper:

  • Segment patient data by the type of care patients receive--medical or surgical--can help staff members identify areas for improvement, according to Press Ganey. Breaking data down between those two types of patients can better specify deficiencies. The whitepaper offered an example of a hospital where patients overall ranked a negative experience with staff members who were drawing blood. But, when broken down into the two segments, the data showed that the medical patients were the ones being treated by discourteous staff, and the surgical patients ranked such care more positively. Medical patients in the offered example overall found their clinicians to be more rude, according to the whitepaper, which would indicate the hospital in question should modify its training protocols.
  • Segment patient data by condition can help staff members identify the unique challenges presented by different diseases, according to the white paper. Press Ganey looked at patient satisfaction scores of patients being treated at a hospital for colon cancer, and the experiences for those patients were negative across the board. They compared that data to patients being treated for other types of cancer, including breast cancer and lymphoma, who reported markedly different experiences. Data like this can help staff members identify specific initiatives that can help individual patients, according to the whitepaper.
  • Segment patient data by age can point to areas where systems are failing to meet the needs of vulnerable populations. Elderly patients in particular are more likely to have multiple comorbidities, which pose treatment challenges to clinicians. In the data Press Ganey studied, patients older than 80 had overwhelmingly negative experiences compared to those between the ages of 65 and 79, indicating that there is need for system changes to better accommodate these patients.