Patient Experience Will Require More Than Just CAHPS - Cover

Patient Experience Will Require More Than Just CAHPS

As a component of the Quadruple Aim, providing a quality patient experience is a universal “rule of the road” that everyone agrees on. As such it is a top-of-mind concern for healthcare organizations and has become only more important given healthcare’s trend toward consumerism. By focusing on the patient experience, organizations are seeking to not only improve patient outcomes and satisfaction but also strengthen their brands and build patient loyalty.

Our recently released Patient Experience Improvement 2021 report provides KLAS’ first look at customer satisfaction with the solutions payer and provider organizations use to measure and improve the patient experience. Some key highlights from the research are explored below. 

CAHPS-Centric Benchmarking vs. Individualized Insights

The patient experience has typically been measured via standardized, retrospective benchmarking data (predominantly from the CMS-regulated CAHPS survey). However, in today’s atmosphere—in which patients have more choices than ever when it comes to receiving care—a CAHPS-centric approach isn’t enough. Healthcare organizations have mentioned to KLAS the need to also have individualized, customizable patient experience data that allows them to address the concerns of specific patients in as near real time as possible.

Both approaches to measuring the patient experience are necessary. The graphic below outlines the capabilities and characteristics typified by each approach.

Improvement Approaches Chart

In seeking to understand how organizations’ technology needs are evolving in this market, we wondered: Are the vendors who have traditionally administered CAHPS surveys able to also provide the individualized insights organizations need? Or is the market seeing disruption from new players entering the field? We were somewhat surprised to learn that the answer is—both.

While vendors have traditionally taken one approach or the other, some have already pivoted to offer capabilities on both sides of the spectrum. This includes several of the longstanding players traditionally known for administering CAHPS surveys. 

Additionally, multiple vendors that originated outside of healthcare are using their customer experience technology and expertise as an entry point into the healthcare market. These vendors can offer innovation and a new perspective on the patient journey suited to the consumerism of today’s healthcare environment.

The chart below provides a high-level view of how the organizations interviewed for our research are using their patient experience improvement vendor. Over half of the vendors are being used for both CAHPS-centric benchmarking and individualized insights.

Patient Improvement Approach Type

Measuring the Vendors That Measure Patient Experience

One key takeaway from the research is that there are no bad choices among the patient experience vendors measured in the report. While different solutions offer different capabilities, in general, respondents feel their solutions drive actionable insights and do what they expected them to do. Determining which solution is right for your organization will depend on your specific patient experience strategy. And it might not be an either/or decision—payer and provider organizations may need to invest in multiple vendors’ solutions to meet their needs.

For more details on how the vendors above perform in various customer satisfaction metrics, please download the report.

On the Horizon

Measurement of the patient experience is likely to get only more personalized as this market evolves. A lot of the custom measurement occurring today is fairly unique. Going forward, it is likely to become more commonplace as healthcare continues to learn from other industries. We expect that cross-industry companies that really understand experience management will continue to enter the healthcare market, and we look forward to monitoring these and other vendors and deepening our understanding of their customers’ experience.

Additionally, payer and provider organizations are likely to expand their experience management programs to encompass a broader variety of stakeholders—e.g., employee experience, clinician experience, member experience, etc. Strategies and programs will evolve to enable organizations to manage the experience of everybody they touch. As this happens, KLAS will continue to monitor the technology designed to enable this measurement.




Photo credit: Vitalii Vodolazskyi, Adobe Stock