My colleague, Ed Miseta, chief editor of Clinical Leader, recently asked, “Can Better Patient Experiences Lead To Better Medicines?” via an article he developed from an interview with Thomas Goetz, cofounder of Iodine, a digital health company. According to Miseta, Goetz is attempting to turn patient experiences into better medicines and is combining data and design to help patients locate the best treatments based on preferences, demographics, and experiences. But truthfully it wasn’t Goetz’s work that intrigued me (but still worth your reading about), but rather Miseta’s question. If a patient has a better (clinical trial) experience, would that indeed result in a better medicine? Put differently, I pondered, could a patient that was “highly satisfied with their clinical trial experience perceive a medicine as making them feel better?” We see this happen all the time with placebos right? It made me wonder further, if a patient has a better healthcare experience would they have a better healthcare outcome? As I pondered Miseta’s question, I reflected back to a conversation I had this past weekend with William J. Krowinski, Ph.D. The coauthor of the book, Measuring and Managing Patient Satisfaction with Steven Steiber, Ph.D., Krowinski shared how he and his coauthor developed the handbook for designing and administering better patient satisfaction surveys geared toward providing practical information for healthcare institutions. And though Krowinski admits that a well-designed measurement instrument is important, it is what is done with the data that is often most telling.
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