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Realistically, How High Should We Set Our Patient Satisfaction Score Goals?

Question

As an institution, our strategic planning objective for this year is to improve our patient satisfaction scores. Our most recent overall ranking is in the 29th percentile. We want to set a goal for next year but are not sure what we should target. Some believe the 50th percentile would be doable; others want nothing less than the 75th .

Answer

Because it’s a bell curve system, it’s not impossible to move up to the 75th percentile in setting your score. To do that, I believe an organization has to be committed to leadership development and changing the leadership evaluation system. Before making the decision, look at your medical surgery unit scores. The med surg unit (because of the higher number of discharges, and, thus, patient surveys) has more influence in your percentiles. Review the med surg unit scores and see if you feel confident that you can move those scores past your goal. I’m not saying what your goal should be; I’m saying that before setting your goal you should do a little more research. I feel that at the 29th percentile, your organization may need to address other issues beyond patient satisfaction.