Uh oh, my report card arrived. In grade school, they came in manila envelopes and you had to take them home and have the ‘rents sign off on them. Now, they come in emails. Boom. Right there. So fast. Not even enough time to react.
Honestly, we’re always being graded in life. But, in some strange way, I see this as an opportunity. A chance to improve, to make things better. Or, maybe I’m trying to justify my grades before seeing them. This report card judged my medical prowess from the patient’s point of view. It graded my patient engagement and satisfaction, two newly anointed and now-hallowed measures of good medical care. Okay, time to click on the figure and see my grades…
How Did I Do?
I did well. In fact, I think I’m at the head of the class, according to Healthloop. Healthloop asked patients in my practice about their postoperative care and how they felt about it. All 370 patients, including vasectomy reversals, vasectomies, FNA maps, varicocele repairs and sperm retrievals. The data was based on the equivalent of 12.5 years of medical care that I provided to them last year.
Here is why the report card matters to me:
- In a world where most young men are totally disconnected with medical care, 3/4ths of my patients were fully engaged. I must be doing something right, eh?
- 90% of men were satisfied with my care. When are 90% of men ever satisfied with anything?
- I saved men from calling the office after surgery. That means they were comfortable, because men only call when they are worried. They never call just to say hello.
- I now have a service benchmark to get even better at this.
- It keeps me on my toes.
In my view, good, solid, apples-to-apples measures of patient satisfaction and engagement are not necessary evils in modern medicine, but golden opportunities to learn and grow. What can patients teach us about medicine? Plenty.