At the heart of quality medical care is the patient experience. This experience begins when a patient first visits your website or calls your office, and goes beyond merely seeking treatment.

 In other words, the patient experience encompasses every touchpoint healthcare organizations have with their patients. In today’s competitive landscape, healthcare providers must prioritize elevating the patient experience to promote better health outcomes, encourage patient loyalty, and even lower medical malpractice risk.

 This article provides recommendations for healthcare providers to help improve patient experience metrics by utilizing a combination of technological tools and optimizing an organization’s culture to make patient-centered care a top priority.

Understanding Patient Experience 

The term “patient experience” isn’t a trending buzzword. Rather, it’s a way of understanding what patients experience when seeking healthcare services from medical offices and hospitals. It is a sum of patient perceptions, based on everything from communication to the method in medical treatment is administered.

 The formal definition of the patient experience is as follows:

 Patient experience refers to the range of interactions that patients have with the healthcare system, including care from health plans, doctors, nurses, and staff. It encompasses aspects like timely appointments, ease of information access, and effective communication.

 Patient satisfaction, on the other hand, is a subjective measure reflecting whether a patient’s expectations about their healthcare experience were met. While patient experience is an objective account of what happened during the care process, patient satisfaction is a personal evaluation of that experience. 

Components of Patient Experience

 A positive patient experience doesn’t exist in a vacuum. For example, patient experience measures every possible interaction a patient has with both the healthcare provider and support staff.

 These interactions can be classified into 3 categories:

  • Communication: Effective communication is vital for providers in a healthcare setting. Patients need to be heard. Likewise, explaining treatment options and recommendations in a way that the patient can understand allows patients to take a more active role in their health outcomes. This is a necessary component to improve patient experience and provide patient-centered care.
  • Empathy: Patients living with chronic conditions or who experience anxiety when visiting healthcare providers need a heightened level of understanding. Empathy goes beyond mere sympathy, which is more like pity, and involves demonstrating a high degree of compassion and understanding. This is essential when sharing sensitive test results, for example.
  • Quality of care: This is a more concrete measure of a patient’s perception of whether they received adequate patient care from healthcare facilities. Quality of care can often be measured objectively by evaluating clinical safety, effectiveness of treatment plans, and tracking quality assurance standards over time.


You can think of these three elements of healthcare quality as something of a tripod. You need all three legs to be fully functional to have a truly stellar consumer experience. This is especially true if you are looking to boost patient experience scores when evaluating your office’s patient experience data.

The Impact of Patient Experience on Healthcare Outcomes

 Patient experience and healthcare outcomes go hand-in-hand. When a patient perceives that they are receiving high-quality care, they may, in turn, have a better health outcome.

For example, a positive human experience can motivate a patient to ask more questions, follow through with care, attend appointments, and be more amenable to lifestyle changes. By building a foundation of trust and stacking positive interactions, you can influence patient perceptions.

 Instead of viewing a lifestyle change as a chore, patients who receive a more personalized patient experience may be more motivated to make the change because they understand what’s necessary.

Patient Experience and Healthcare Efficiency

 It’s normal for healthcare organizations to be concerned about cost and wonder whether a focus on patient experience is a smart financial decision. Though there may be an initial upfront investment in improving human experience and satisfaction ratings, the effort is well worth it.

 According to the Harvard School of Public Health, improving the patient experience results in better health outcomes, which ultimately leads to cost savings.

 Areas where healthcare providers can save money and boost revenue include:

  • Fewer missed appointments from patients
  • Ability to focus on preventive care strategies
  • Reduced errors due to better patient communication
  • More efficient delivery of care as a result of reduced wait times and more streamlined administration
  • Higher patient engagement
  • Improved staff satisfaction and retention
  • More positive online reviews

 Because of these positive side effects, focusing on creating a positive patient experience can provide vast improvements to the bottom of line of healthcare organizations.

Strategies To Enhance Patient Experience

 Enhancing a patient’s experience starts with proactive, compassionate communication. Though it might seem counterintuitive, technology is instrumental in facilitating this level of communication with patients.

 Technology’s Role in Improving Patient Experience

 In today’s busy world, patients expect hospitals and other healthcare facilities to provide fast and seamless communication along with quality care. Technology can help facilitate touchpoints at all aspects of seeking care, though it’s vital that this is done in a way that is HIPAA-compliant.

 For example, leveraging technology gives a healthcare provider the ability to:

Not only do these technological advances provide a more personalized patient experience, but they also free up staff resources to provide more one-on-one communication. When technology is implemented in a way that considers what patients want, it can go a long way toward providing an excellent patient experience.

Measuring and Evaluating Patient Experience

Because patient experience and patient satisfaction are closely linked, being able to measure and evaluate the quality of the patient experience as a whole can give you insights into steps to boost patient satisfaction.

One way to evaluate your past patients’ experiences is to look at your online reviews. What do patients say about your practice on Google or Facebook? Do they have positive or negative things to say about the scheduling process, your staff, or their wait times? This feedback, while often overlooked, is an essential and accessible way for you to measure and evaluate patient experiences.

If you don’t have the time to manage all of your online reviews, consider utilizing a review management software like Weave. Weave makes it easy to track your online reviews over time and gather meaningful insights into the patient experience. It also makes it easy to respond to patient reviews quickly or request reviews automatically after a patient visit.

Utilizing Feedback for Continuous Improvement

Patients can provide you with invaluable insights to improve the clinical quality and subjective quality of your health systems. The first thing to keep in mind is that you must have a method of collecting accurate, comprehensive feedback. To do this at scale, it’s recommended to implement surveys, online reviews, or both.

Don’t have many online reviews? Watch our free webinar on how to increase total reviews, and how to respond in a meaningful way to build patient relations:

The Art and Science of Review Management: How to Increase and Respond to Customer Reviews – Weave

As you begin collecting data to assess patient experience, notice if there are any patterns or trends to be aware of. Is someone on your staff particularly helpful? Is there a bottleneck in your administrative procedures that is causing frustration? Is there an existing practice that compromises patient safety?

Be proactive about analyzing data, identifying problems, and making iterative improvements. Creating a quality patient experience is not a singular task that can be accomplished by a healthcare office in a day, a week, or even a month. It requires a consistent commitment and involvement across all levels of a healthcare organization.


 To sum things up, the importance of elevating the patient experience in the healthcare industry cannot be overstated. When patients feel like they’re having a good (or great) experience, they are more likely to take ownership of their health, potentially achieving better outcomes.

Weave makes it easy for you to elevate every patient experience. From being able to text patients, letting them self-schedule online and skip the waiting room with pre-visit digital forms, to providing a full suite of payment processing and financing options, Weave improves the patient experience at every touchpoint. 

See how Weave does all this and more by scheduling a free demo.


Want to see
more about

9 out of 10 people check online reviews before choosing a business

Weave helps you easily collect and monitor reviews on Google and Facebook. These reviews can be some of the best marketing for your business.

Schedule Demo