Written by: Center for Care Innovations

Bringing the Patient Voice to the Center of Quality Improvement

For many years, Technology Hub participant San Francisco Health Network (SFHN) used the standard Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG-CAHPS) survey to measure patient experience and satisfaction at their health centers.

While the response rate was on par with national trends — though relatively low — the SFHN leaders responsible for improving quality and patient experience did not have access to timely, actionable data to help guide their efforts. This was compounded by an inability to reach populations whose home addresses were constantly changing or non-existent in the case of homeless patients.

When SFHN started implementing appointment reminders via text messaging, they began reaching a  younger population for the first time. This small win sparked enthusiasm among staff to learn more about patient preferences and comfort by using technology to solicit feedback about health centers. Staff soon learned that thanks to companies such as Zappos and Apple using technology to evaluate customer experiences, patients had already shifted their attitudes and expectations on this front. Yet, Yelp reviews for health centers were dismal and there were limited options to collect real-time patient feedback. So SFHN sought to explore ways to leverage technology to bring the patient voice to the center of its improvement work.