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Understanding the Relationship Between Patient Satisfaction and Star Ratings

Topic: Patient Satisfaction

Star ratings alone can’t protect you or direct your organization’s growth

We hear a lot about star ratings these days. Most people in medicine are pursuing 5-star ratings as if all stars are created equal, which is patently false.

The key is not the star itself but its relationship to the lodestar, which, in our case, is patient satisfaction. Stars, used correctly, provide important guidance. Long before GPS technology, explorers calculated their position relative to the North star and navigated accurately from one place to another.

Their goals weren’t that different than ours. Explorers sought new trade routes and financial opportunity. Star ratings, if used properly, can do the same for your company.

  • How do you chart the most direct course to achieve your objectives?
  • How do you measure your healthcare organization’s performance against the service equivalent of the lodestar?
  • What computations do you use to discover growth opportunities relative to patient satisfaction and consumer buying processes?

I submit that our lodestar is analytics

Without understanding your organization’s relationship to performance data among your peers regionally and nationally, you cannot optimize your reputation or your company’s revenue.

Recently, I saw a web vendor touting word cloud technology. He recommended using the content of reviews to guide organizational improvement. Like many others entering our space, he is trying to cash in on the ratings and review phenomenon, but with a superficial and flawed methodology.

Word clouds display frequency of words which is not always the same thing as the relative importance. Word clouds cannot provide the context needed to pinpoint change. Given this discussion, it’s worthy of note that clouds often hide or obscure stars.

Here are two examples of word clouds from 100% verified patient reviews captured from our Vizium360 survey database. Of these two examples, one word cloud is from patients who are highly satisfied. The other is from patients who are highly-dissatisfied. Can you identify which is which?

Word cloud 1

Patient Satisfaction

Word cloud 2

Patient Satisfaction

Let’s say yes, you can tell the difference. Now what?

How you are going to use these words if your organization has any of the following well-known issues:

  • Poor ratings
  • Low consult conversions
  • Weak referrals
  • Inadequate patient retention
  • Staff performance concerns

The first question is, “Compared to what?” And a word cloud offers no guidance. You cannot use ratings or even the words in reviews in isolation. You can’t pinpoint needed changes or measure the effectiveness of new care or communication strategies.

Without comparative data, you have no lodestar equivalent to help you navigate safely to your desired destination.

Here’s the good news: we founded Vizium360 to directly address the need for comparative data in patient satisfaction feedback. Along with verified reviews and those coveted star ratings, we provide robust data analytics to help you turn the feedback you get into better patient experiences and higher profitability. Contact us today to learn more.

Topic Discussed: Patient Satisfaction