Medical Mystery Shopping: Continual Monitoring of the Patient Experience

While listening to a webinar this morning, the presenter discussed several reasons why patient satisfaction initiatives fail in the hospital and practice settings.  One of the key mistakes many healthcare organizations make is that they fail to consistently monitor their patient satisfaction across the months and the year.  Many times, a hospital, health system or practice can have the best intentions and start off on the right foot, evaluating the experience they provide their patients through surveys or medical mystery shopping, but then they “fall off the bandwagon” so to speak.  We have learned through our experience and the experience of leaders in the healthcare industry that improving patient experiences and moving beyond “satisfied” patients is a process and must be monitored on a periodical, reoccurring basis. 

The power of medical mystery shopping is that it provides healthcare organizations with the perceptions of their patients and uncovers the experience they provide.  Where this information becomes very powerful is when it occurs on a periodic, continual basis to provide a “check-up” of how the practice is implementing trainings, best practices and new policy initiatives. It also provides timely feedback from real patients on their perceptions of these newly implemented improvements to validate they are having the right impact, or show areas that need to be revisited to provide the optimal experience for patients. 

Remember, taking your healthcare organization to the next level and creating WOW patient experiences is a journey, not a destination.  Medical Mystery Shopping is a powerful tool in your practice growth toolbox that over time can increase your patient referrals and word-of-mouth marketing. 

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