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Tech meets the human touch: Leveraging digital tools to improve healthcare experiences

It’s happening. Last month’s CMS final rule, which announced web-first modes for HCAHPS, shows us an exciting path forward with digital surveying. This gives CXOs the leverage needed to shift away from mailed surveys and embrace more patient-friendly survey modes. This is an important leadership opportunity, deciding what works best for our patients and consumers, not only embracing digital surveying but also looking to social listening as essential components of a holistic experience strategy.

I know it can be daunting to move your organization and community through change. But digital-first healthcare organizations are seeing real and undeniable benefits. Digital surveying lets patient experience teams connect data, technology, people, and processes to exceed consumer expectations for healthcare experiences that are both convenient, and personalized. And paper surveys just can’t compete with digital’s vast capabilities.

Benefits of digital surveying to patients and healthcare organizations

Across healthcare, most of us have embraced digital surveying. Over 90% of patient surveys deployed by Press Ganey today are sent via email and text. That’s 1.7 million digital surveys sent every day! A big reason behind the shift is the benefits digital surveys bring to the table.

As PX leaders, we want to hear from all our patients, from every part of the communities we serve. Digital feedback solutions help us do that in far more effective and efficient ways. Reach broad and deep within your community to ensure all demographics, ages, race and ethnic groups are represented, including patients without a street address and those with disabilities. Digital surveys are also easier to translate into a respondent’s preferred or native language, and they’re generally just more ADA-compliant, with built-in accessibility features.

As we reach more patients, faster, we get more data back. Leading organizations that move to digital surveys have seen a:

  • 40% increase in patient outreach 
  • 23% increase in patient responses 
  • 2x more unstructured feedback for deeper patient insights

(Source: Press Ganey Data Science team.)

Boost data collection by developing patient feedback channels beyond traditional surveys

Expanding your strategy further into digital unlocks meaningful new feedback channels. Digital surveying strategies are just the start—and social listening is an exciting next step.

I often hear from CXOs that they’re hesitant to embrace social channels, preferring to take the conversation offline. But our patients, and our communities, have already made their choice loud and clear: They want to communicate via social media channels. I encourage my fellow CXOs to lean into the channels patients favor, including review sites and the social media platforms consumers already know, use, and love.

Establishing strong partnerships with your marketing team is critical to success here. The best organizations collaborate across marketing and patient experience to use social listening to drive positive changes—improving patient acquisition and loyalty along the way. Even with rapid digital survey deployment times, patients are often talking about your organization and their experiences before they even receive a survey. And these conversations are mainly happening online.

Press Ganey’s Transparency, Review Publishing, and Reputation solutions are all tech-forward ways to increase your stockpile of patient reviews, respond quickly to service issues, and ensure that your organization shines on the sites patients use to learn about and choose care providers—including your health system’s website, Google, WebMD, and more.

The future is bright

We’re deep into the digital era now—and there’s no looking back. I encourage you to embrace the exciting opportunities we have in front of us, as technology improves how we listen, understand, and take action to improve the Human Experience of healthcare. And deliver exceptional care and experiences. Know that your Press Ganey team is your partner every step of the way.

And we should keep this dialogue going. Technology and healthcare continue to evolve—so we must band together to stay not just ahead of the curve, but truly on the cutting edge. To talk to a member of my team, please reach out, and we’ll get a quick call in the books.

About the author

Chrissy collaborates with teams across Press Ganey to design, develop, and deliver strategies to boost patient experience that are informed by over 400 million patient voices. Chrissy works closely with healthcare organizations nationwide as a strategic and operational partner. Chrissy brings over 30 years of expertise in advancing the patient experience and building an engaging and collaborative culture. Frequently called upon as a guest speaker, she is widely recognized for her pioneering work in healthcare consumerism and physician performance data transparency.

Profile Photo of Chrissy Daniels