Help Your Customers Improve Patient Satisfaction Scores

October 2016

Smart Selling: Distributor Sales Strategies From HIDA

By Elizabeth Hilla
Senior Vice President, HIDA

Help Your Customers Improve Patient Satisfaction Scores

“Patient satisfaction” (also referred to as “patient experience”) is one of the hottest issues with your provider customers. Smart salespeople can use this issue to build successful sales presentations.

Recent HIDA research shows patients pay attention to the care they receive – including the medical products that are used – and many of them will change providers if they’re unhappy.

That’s not the only reason your customers care about patient experience. Perhaps the biggest reason is that it directly impacts their revenue. A number of different payers, most importantly Medicare, are now using patient satisfaction scores as a key metric in calculating reimbursements and/or incentive payments. For example, the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey (HCAHPS or “H-caps”) measures patient perspectives of hospital stays, and the hospital’s value-based payment amount is based in part on these scores.

This creates an enormous opportunity for you as a salesperson to provide solutions that help providers improve patient satisfaction. Here are some specific examples of opportunities, and ideas for addressing them in your conversations with customers.

Rapid tests. HIDA research confirmed what you already knew – patients want their test results immediately. They don’t want to go elsewhere to get lab tests done, and they don’t want to wait to learn their diagnosis.

“Amanda, I notice that the practice is still sending out a lot of tests that could be done here in the office, and I think you’d have the opportunity to really improve patient satisfaction by doing more of these tests right here.  Did you know that more than a third of patients say the inability to get lab results during office visits is a major reason for dissatisfaction with a provider?”

Infection prevention. A visible commitment to infection prevention is the number one way providers make a positive impression on patients, according to HIDA’s research. Patients notice details like hand sanitizer stations throughout the facility, frequent hand-washing, and the availability of masks for patients who want them.

“Carlos, I know that preventing infections is critical for your facility. I’d like to suggest some ways that we can make your commitment to cleanliness and infection control more visible to your patients, who really care about this issue as well.”

Equipment and furnishings. You might not think about equipment upgrades as a way to improve patient satisfaction, but consumer research proves patients notice whether an office is state-of-the-art or a bit dated. This perception can directly influence how providers are rated. One survey respondent noted: “The facility I use has the most up-to-date equipment and technology, and makes me feel safer.”

“Sandy, do you think it’s time for us to talk about new exam tables? These were awesome examples of cutting-edge technology back in 1995, but research shows patients notice up-to-date equipment, and an upgrade could pay you back in satisfied patients and higher ratings.”

I encourage you to visit to study the new HIDA Patient Satisfaction report and identify other ways that you can use this hot-button issue to help your customers and grow your sales.