The Net Promoter Score – an asset to patient experience surveys?

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Abstract

Background

In the search for more straightforward ways of summarizing patient experiences and satisfaction, there is growing interest in the Net Promoter Score (NPS): How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?

Objective

To assess what the NPS adds to patient experience surveys. The NPS was tested against three other constructs already used in current surveys to summarize patient experiences and satisfaction: global ratings, recommendation questions and overall scores calculated from patient experiences. To establish whether the NPS is a valid measure for summarizing patient experiences, its association with these experiences should be assessed.

Methods

Associations between the NPS and the three other constructs were assessed and their distributions were compared. Also, the association between the NPS and patient experiences was assessed. Data were used from patient surveys of inpatient hospital care (N = 6018) and outpatient hospital care (N = 10 902) in six Dutch hospitals.

Results

Analyses showed that the NPS was moderately to strongly correlated with the other three constructs. However, their distributions proved distinctly different. Furthermore, the patient experiences from the surveys showed weaker associations with the NPS than with the global rating and the overall score.

Conclusions

Because of the limited extent to which the NPS reflects the survey results, it seems less valid as a summary of patient experiences than a global rating, the existing recommendation question or an overall score calculated from patient experiences. In short, it is still unclear what the NPS specifically adds to patient experience surveys.

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