Leveraging the Voice of the Patient to Improve Operational Effectiveness

By Mounir Mekkaoui and Dezdemona Bakiasi

Danat Al Emarat Hospital, a world-class hospital in Abu Dhabi specializing in woman’s and children’s health, is leading the change towards a new healthcare standard in the region by delivering immediate and long-lasting benefits to their patients and staff.

The hospital is equipped with a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient medical services, a fully-fledged Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the largest in the private sector in its market, Pediatrics & Neonatology, Surgery, and Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Diagnostics & Breast Imaging. The hospital has four major theatres and one minor theatre and operates 24-hour Obstetric and Anesthesiology departments and Urgent Care teams. 

Danat partnered with New Metrics and Qualtrics to elevate their delivered patient experience and design and implement their comprehensive real-time Voice of the Patient program. This shift empowers the organization through data to drive instant strategic changes that would positively impact the patients.

New Metrics followed a three-stage approach to achieve Danat’s objectives:

  1. Patient journey prioritization and mapping
  2. Patient Experience (PX) program design 
  3. PX program implementation and rollout
1. Patient journey prioritization and mapping

We followed a journey-based measurement strategy by overlaying the Voice of Customer program to patient journeys. 

Our first task was to establish a cross-functional team with members from the nursing, innovation, quality, communication, and operations departments. 

New Metrics worked with this team to develop comprehensive and accurate patient journey maps in line with the defined personas. 

Secondly, we identified and prioritized the main journeys to be tackled based on impact and feasibility.  

2. XM Program design

Once full visibility around the end-to-end patient journey was achieved, the team set the main patient experience KPIs. Accordingly, the listening posts were set up in line with the journey and developed transactional surveys conforming to the journey, KPIs, attributes, and collection mechanisms to be utilized. 

New Metrics then proceeded with the design of the feedback mechanism, ‘closing the loop’ to alert the relevant hospital stakeholders once a patient had a poor experience. This enables the organization to reach out to dissatisfied patients proactively, further understand the negative points of the experience and try to resolve the issue. The extensive focus was directed towards developing the reporting mechanism to empower the different stakeholders with relevant data in real-time interactive dashboards. 

3. PX program implementation and rollout 

The PX program was built on the Qualtrics XM platform and fully integrated with the hospital’s Hospital Information system (HIS) to ensure that New Metrics enriched the level of analysis by ingesting the available operational data in the internal systems. To further safeguard patient information, nmflo (integration and data masking platform) was introduced to anonymize patient data and was used as a centralized node for the integration of both systems. 

Primary objectives during the implementation were to enable different user personas around the platform, introduce new KPIs, manage the tickets, and effectively consume the data reported in the customized dashboards to drive action across the organization. 

This data-driven approach allowed Danat Al Emarat to make informed decisions to uplift the patient experience delivered throughout the hospital. The hospital has since recorded a doctor’s satisfaction score of more than 85% and improved its NPS by 10 points.  

The program was developed and launched within eight months, and its success reflects Danat Al Emarat’s commitment to delivering a best-in-class patient experience. Their ability to recognize the need to change and their decision to revamp their system has been rewarded with a state-of-the-art Voice of the Patient program, which also acts as the centralized experience management program. The program closed the loop with 100% of dissatisfied patients, collected data automatically while preserving confidentiality, identified the main drivers of patient experience, and leveraged operational data with experience data.

This case study has been shared by Qualtrics, offering a comprehensive summary of the objectives, solutions, and outcomes of New Metrics’ intervention and how the Qualtrics system was successfully implemented. Danat Al Emarat is the first facility in the UAE’s healthcare sector to use this system. The results achieved during a period dominated by COVID-19 have clearly shown massive benefits that could be applied to the broader industry around the world. The full case study is available to view on the Qualtrics website: https://www.qualtrics.com/uk/customers/danat-al-emarat/