While the jury is still out on the long-term effectiveness and efficiencies of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the growing focus for hospitals on continual improvement of the overall experience patients have at their facilities is clearly taking root. In this area—that of positively driving the patient experience—the ACA certainly is playing an important role.
Hospital marketers have historically examined the voice of the customer and related patient-experience data as a best-practice methodology. However, today, the shift toward patient experience valuations is driven significantly by economics. Healthcare professionals realize, with the implementation of the ACA, hospital reimbursements are affected by patient-satisfaction scores. The better the satisfaction scores, the higher the level of reimbursement.
This focus has nurtured a shift in the management needs of hospitals and health systems and the rise of the chief experience officer (CXO). These leaders are charged with developing patient-focused and less-institutional cultures. We're seeing growing interest from our clients' healthcare organizations regarding CXO professionals.
It's all about creating a positive patient experience leading to improved loyalty, positive word-of-mouth referrals, and return visitors to their establishments.