The Patient Experience: Hearing the Voice of the Patient

The Patient Experience: Hearing the Voice of the Patient

Consumer perception of care has always been important. But, over the last 10-15 years, it has become an even greater focus.

With Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys being completed and submitted, we are getting a better view point of the patient’s perception of care.

Then, there are social media channels and consumer rating websites. These sources place us in the position to get very important (and sometimes unflattering) information about our services, our staff, and our care environment.

Although there are times when the information we obtain is not positive, it is very insightful and informative. This information helps to truly understand what is important to those we serve. It helps us provide better care and a better experience, which inherently translates to better outcomes.

It also helps us know what we need to do to ensure every encounter is a positive one.

As we are focusing on the patient’s perception of care, we have to be very mindful that our perception and the patient’s perception may differ. We have to ensure that we do not superimpose our perception of what we are doing onto the patient’s perception of services received.

For healthcare professionals, remembering the following may be helpful: remain positive because every person, every day, every encounter, is significant and has a major impact on the care experience.

Patients, please continue to provide feedback. If there’s something you need, or that would make you more comfortable or relaxed, ask! Many of our hospitals have a patient concierge program. If you’re staying at one of our hospitals, ask about the program. Their goal is to help you focus on healing and recovery. Your feedback shapes the care you receive, and as such, we welcome it!


Dr. Kimberly Horton has been an RN for 31 years and a Nurse Practitioner for 20 years. She is the CEO for Vibra Hospital of Sacramento. She spends much of her time working with music and the arts. She is a vocalist, volunteers as music director for conventions and serves on the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Ballet.


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