How do patients define excellence in healthcare and how does this translate to patient satisfaction? The University of Utah Health Care hospital found out first hand. Since launching its “five-star” care program, the hospital has not only improved sentiment among its patients but has reduced costs and made the hospital more profitable.

Focusing on delivering an exceptional patient experience has translated into climbing patient-satisfaction scores. These scores are driving more than sentiment: “The scores dictate whether a hospital gains or loses up to 1.5% of its Medicare payments. By 2017, up to 2% will be at risk. That’s just one impetus, though, for improvement, and hardly the most persuasive.”

The majority of patients prefer word-of-mouth recommendations when choosing doctors and hospitals and are beginning to look toward online reviews to help guide their healthcare decisions. An additional tool that would facilitate these decisions is cost transparency tools. These tools allow consumers to compare procedure, prescription and facility cost options to better manage their healthcare budget and potentially encourage health care providers to compete on price.

As mentioned in the original article :“As rising deductibles and premiums force patients to shoulder more of the cost of their care, they are getting choosier about where they spend that money. They are voting with their feet and casting their ballots with institutions they trust — those that give them the information they need to make wise health care decisions and those that deliver the best care and service for the lowest possible cost.”


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