I attended a meeting last week of Mass Health (Massachusetts Medicaid)’s Payment and Care Delivery Quality Improvement Work Group (a mouthful). The main topic: patient experience. Measuring #ptexp is critical and challenging. There’s no best way to measure, and it’s quite expensive. Who loves to fill out surveys? I do when I’m seriously delighted or completely pissed off. Mostly I couldn’t be bothered. It’s time-consuming, especially when I’ve been to my many specialists in a short period and get surveys from each. The questions are usually difficult to answer. They ask specific questions about similar events over time. Do they want to know about the last visit, or all the visits in the past three months? The questions often don’t ask about what’s important to me. I fill out the survey and I wonder, what will they do with this? Will anything improve? Will the doctor or nurse have more time with me? Will they look at me or the computer screen? Can I bill them for my time? My doctors know that I write about your experience (the experience of the people at the center of care). They tell me about their frustrations with their jobs. They talk most often about administrative tasks – the electronic health record and having so little time with each individual.
At the MassHealth meeting I spoke up about the clinician experience. Improving their experience improves my experience. It’s a smaller number of people – many patients, fewer clinicians. You’ve heard of Don Berwick and IHI (Institute of Healthcare Improvement)’s Triple Aim – Healthier populations, better experience of individuals, and reduced cost of care. Now people are talking about the #QuadrupleAim – improving provider experience. Read this article. How can we e-patients help our clinician partners? We need the good ones to stay.