Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP) today (Thursday) released the results of the first ever statewide survey of patients´ experiences with primary care physicians, offering the most comprehensive and accurate statewide healthcare performance information on patient experiences in the nation. The Web-based report, Quality Insights-Healthcare Performance in Massachusetts: Patient Experiences in Primary Care, gives Massachusetts consumers access to information they care about — the healthcare experience they may receive when visiting a primary care doctor´s office. The report gives consumers unprecedented access to information on over 400 adult and pediatric practices across the state based on feedback collected from more than 50,000 patients.
Yes, there are limitations to the study. But that’s not the point: the point is that this information that gives the Massachusetts practices information about what their patients think of their practice. There is no comparable information from other states yet, but that day will come, and shortly.
A number of years ago, I had a practice that did a detailed patient attitude study, and the results were not stunning. They looked for ways to explain away the results, so they brushed aside the implications of what patients were saying. You know the saying – denial is not just a river in Egypt.
The Massachusetts data is a good starting point to working on your internal systems and patient interactions. Before doing a survey, work with your staff and delve into how you do things. You may want to hire a marketing consultant who can help you with this – an unbiased observor can be invaluable by asking a lot of questions. Ask around – you need someone who is a good observor, can ask questions, and will be open with you. Most of the challenge is uncovering the issues you need to address, rather than the solutions.
You can see the actual questionnaire – and results – on the MHQP website.