Learn More about Patient Experience

What is Patient Experience?

Patient Experience refers to everything that happens to patients from the moment they walk into the doctor's office until the end of the appointment. It also includes all phone calls or other contact a patient has with the doctor's office before and after appointments. Patients should expect to receive high-quality care, which includes positive interactions between patients, doctors and office staff.

What are examples of Patient Experience?

A few examples could include:

  • How well doctors communicate.
  • How well doctors know their patients.
  • How well doctors give preventive care and advice.
  • How well doctors coordinate patient care.
  • How quickly patients get appointments, care and information.
  • How helpful and polite office staff are to patients.

Why is it important to learn about the Patient Experience?

Studies show that the Patient Experience is an important part of quality health care. Here are some ways that a good Patient Experience can help:

  • When patients have a good experience, they are more likely to follow their doctor’s medical advice.
  • Doctors should confirm that patients understand health information and check that they know how to care for themselves at home.
  • Office staff may remind patients about needed tests, report test results more quickly and make it easier to schedule office visits.
  • Sometimes a doctor's office receives a low score on one or more parts of the survey. This may not mean that they provide poor quality health care. Instead, a low score can point out certain aspects of care that a doctor’s office needs to improve.

How can I use the Patient Experience Data?

Patients can use these answers for a variety of reasons, but a few suggested ideas include:

  • To find out how their doctor's office compares to others in the state.
  • To choose a new primary care doctor for themselves or their family.
  • To teach others how to learn about a doctor's office or choose a new doctor.
  • To talk with doctors about their experiences. Doctors know about this survey and should be prepared to discuss the results.

About the Survey Process

How does AF4Q-SCPA collect information about the patient experience?

The data was collected by WellSpan Medical Group. WellSpan surveys patients continuously through the year, and new data is aggregated monthly. The most recent Patient Experience data was collected in January of 2014.

How does AF4Q-SCPA decide which survey questions to ask?

AF4Q-SCPA reports on major domains from the Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey (CG-CAHPS), a nationally recognized and vetted data set for Patient Experience developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). WellSpan Medical Group’s survey tool collects this data set in addition to other questions related to efficiency and customer service.

How is this survey funded? What groups work with AF4Q-SCPA on this report?

The survey is part of WellSpan Medical Group’s annual operating budget, and the data was provided to AF4Q-SCPA at no cost. This effort is a partnership between AF4Q-SCPA and WellSpan Medical Group. Should another medical provider in the south-central PA region that collects CG-CAHPS data like to participate, AF4Q-SPCA would be pleased to add their data to this public reporting effort.

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