Death By Patient Satisfaction

I’ve done riffs on the craziness of evaluating and compensating physicians based on patient satisfaction before. But you will find new, and humorous, insights on the topic by going here. In brief, the blogging ER doc that penned this piece makes it extremely clear that, maybe especially in the ER, it is difficult to view the concept of patient satisfaction as being a reasonable measure of the quality of the medical care being delivered.  

This is really sort of a fascinating siren song. It seems so reasonable in the abstraction to be fretting over, and measuring, patient satisfaction.  But as the examples posted here rather clearly indicate, considering patient satisfaction as an important parameter to use in gauging the quality of care being delivered is, well, just silly.  

But wait. It is even worse than that. As my colleague Dr. Neale Martin points out in his seminal book, Habit, there is basically no correlation between customer satisfaction and repurchase behavior. In any area of commerce! Why? As Neale explains, customer satisfaction research taps into our Executive Minds, that have to be engaged to answer marketing research questions. BUT. Most purchase decisions are made based on habits that reside in the Habitual Mind, an unconscious level unreachable through questionnaires.  

Bottom Line. Maybe it is time for everyone to stop fielding those annoying “customer satisfaction” questionnaires. I don’t know about you, but no matter how satisfied I am with a product or service, I can become dissatisfied rather quickly if you ask me a bunch of annoying “satisfaction” questions.  AND, as Neale explains, our answers don’t matter anyway!!!

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