10 ways a healthcare organization can use net promoter scores to improve operations

Lobbie staff
June 15, 2023
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measure of customer loyalty and satisfaction, gauged by asking customers one simple question: "On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?" Customers are then categorized as Promoters (9-10), Passives (7-8), or Detractors (0-6).

The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters, resulting in a score ranging from -100 (all Detractors) to +100 (all Promoters). By providing a clear metric and opportunity for feedback, NPS helps businesses understand customer sentiment, identify areas of improvement, and monitor the effectiveness of their strategies to enhance customer experience and loyalty.

In healthcare, patients are the customers, and their satisfaction is crucial for the success of a healthcare organization.

Here are ten ways healthcare organizations can leverage NPS to improve their operations:

1. Patient-Centered Improvement – The NPS allows healthcare organizations to tap into the patient's perspective, helping them identify areas that need improvement. By thoroughly examining patient feedback associated with NPS surveys, organizations can reveal issues that may not be apparent through other measures, such as long wait times, unsatisfactory communication, or poor care experiences. Subsequently, organizations can strategize to address these issues, improving the patient experience and increasing overall satisfaction.

2. Enhancing Patient Retention – A healthcare organization's ability to retain its patients directly impacts its success. A high NPS indicates high patient satisfaction, which typically correlates with a higher patient retention rate. Conversely, a low NPS serves as a warning signal for potential patient loss. Using NPS as a reference, healthcare organizations can implement changes to enhance patient satisfaction, leading to improved patient retention.

3. Informing Staff Training – NPS feedback can provide insights into staff performance from the patient's perspective. For instance, if patients frequently note poor communication or lack of empathy from certain departments or individuals, these issues can be addressed through targeted staff training. By using NPS as a guide, healthcare organizations can make sure their staff are adequately trained to deliver high-quality patient care.

4. Benchmarking Performance – NPS offers a standard measure that healthcare organizations can use to benchmark their performance against industry standards or competitors. If an organization's NPS is lower than the average, it might signal a need for operational improvements. Through NPS benchmarking, healthcare organizations can identify performance gaps and initiate strategies to bridge them.

5. Prioritizing Operational Changes – NPS can guide healthcare organizations in prioritizing operational changes. If patients consistently highlight a specific issue, such as cleanliness or wait times, in their feedback, it signifies a pressing area for improvement. Accordingly, the organization can prioritize resources and efforts towards resolving these issues.

6. Guiding Strategic Planning – The NPS, when used consistently, can assist in strategic planning by offering a clear view of how patients perceive the organization over time. Trends in NPS can indicate whether changes made are improving patient satisfaction or if new strategies need to be considered. The NPS can serve as a key performance indicator (KPI), allowing organizations to set tangible goals and track their progress.

7. Building Trust with Transparency – Healthcare organizations can use their NPS to communicate transparency with patients and staff. Sharing NPS results, along with the actions taken based on the feedback, can demonstrate an organization's commitment to improving patient experiences. This openness can foster trust, encouraging patients to return and recommend the organization to others.

8. Identifying Patient Advocates – NPS helps identify patients who are promoters—those who are highly likely to recommend the services to others. These patients can be leveraged for testimonials, referrals, and positive reviews, further bolstering the organization's reputation. There are some software tools and applications that can help healthcare facilities and providers post and monitor reviews and references quotes, etc, and a few like SocialNPS can also offer operational feedback at the same time.

9. Proactive Risk Management – Using NPS as a regular tool allows healthcare organizations to identify unsatisfied patients and proactively address their concerns before they escalate to formal complaints or lawsuits. It serves as an early warning system, enabling organizations to take immediate corrective actions.

10. Cultivating a Culture of Continuous Improvement – Regular use of NPS can cultivate a culture of continuous improvement within a healthcare organization. It demonstrates a commitment to listen to patients' voices and act on their feedback. Staff, seeing that patient feedback is taken seriously and leads to tangible changes, are likely to become more engaged in their roles and more focused on providing excellent patient care.

NPS is a powerful tool that can provide significant insights into a healthcare organization's operational effectiveness from the patient's perspective. Using NPS, healthcare organizations can align their operations with patient expectations, enhance patient satisfaction, and ultimately improve their overall performance. However, it is essential to remember that NPS is most effective when used as part of a broader strategy of patient engagement and feedback, not in isolation.

Lobbie is a

Get in touch

Schedule a demo