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Healthcare - measuring and improving patient outcomes

Healthcare is a sector driven by science, innovation and excellence - with a long tradition in professionalism, ethics and patient care. Like so many endeavours today, the health sector is blessed with ever-advancing technology, whilst being plagued by an ever-increasing burden of limited funding and constrained resources. But unlike many other endeavours, the consequence of poor quality in healthcare can have a far greater and lasting impact on the lives and wellbeing of individual patients and their families.


Using patient experience metrics to maximise quality outcomes in healthcare



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In recent years, a catalogue of serious local and overseas medical incidents has resulted in a series of well-publicised, and deep reaching public inquiries.  One of the recurring finding from these inquiries has been the importance placed on actively learning from patient feedback about their experiences.

By effectively encouraging and responding to patient feedback, health services are able to identify, remedy and reduce sources of poor service; reduce patient risk and improve quality.

CTMA has found that in most areas of the public and private sector, customers can be one of the best sources of insight for innovation and quality improvement.  By adopting a robust approach to managing and learning from patient feedback, healthcare organisations can harness that insight and turn it into management actions to drive continuous improvement and achieve better patient outcomes. 

The risks and costs of a poor patient experience

The benefits from improving patient experience in healthcare are not confined to the avoidance of catastrophic failures.  Poor patient experiences can also undermine many desired clinical and business outcomes in healthcare. Potential clinical risks linked to poor patient experiences include:

Lower levels of patient satisfaction can also have an impact on operational aspects of healthcare:

Each of these issues can contribute directly to increased costs of patient care and reduced success in achieving an optimum clinical outcome.

Conversely, an effective approach to measuring and managing improvements in patients’ experience of health services can reduce risks and improve the potential of success in clinical and operational outcomes. 

Turning patient experiences into management actions

With the costs and risks associated with service-failure, the health sector is placing greater emphasis on closing the loop with patients and adopting effective programmes of patient experience measurement and continuous improvement.

CTMA’s experience in the public sector has identified five important steps organisations must take in order to fully exploit the opportunities that can come from customer feedback.  By adopting such an approach, healthcare can transition from merely measuring patient satisfaction, to actively managing patient experiences and improving the associated clinical and operational outcomes.

In all quality systems, the effort (and cost) required to achieve a specific level of quality grows in a nonlinear way with regard to the benefit.  But in healthcare, the consequences of poor patient experiences are also drastically nonlinear.

CTMA’s approach to service-quality improvement places an emphasis on developing cost-effective measurement tools that support the quality management process and reduce the operational burden on identifying and prioritising management actions.

This approach serves to liberate management and staff to focus valuable time and skills on making the improvements that can have the biggest impact on successful outcomes.

For more information about CTMA’s patient feedback solutions for healthcare, and how they can help your organisation use patient experience metrics to maximise clinical and operational outcomes, please contact us. Contact us