Recommendations for improving the patient experience in specialty encounters

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The relationship between patient experience and health care quality has generated significant interest in the patient experience measure. However, it is challenging to find information on how to improve one's patient experience score because scientific data on this topic are weak or lacking, and suggestions provided by scoring vendors are often overgeneralized and not specialty-specific. This review will focus on the current state of evidence supporting factors influencing patient experience (both positive and negative) in outpatient specialist encounters that are applicable to general and surgical dermatology. The literature review includes research from multiple medical specialties. Identified studies were based on title and abstract and sourced from Medline, PubMed, and Scopus databases. Medical subject headings terms in PubMed and Ovid Medline included “dermatology/standards,” “patient satisfaction,” “surgery/standards,” “physician-patient relations,” “surgery,” “practice management,” “practice management, medical,” “office management,” “patient experience,” “practice guidelines,” “best practice,” and “outpatient surgery.” During this review, three main themes affecting the patient experience emerged: communication, time, and access. Of the three, communication appears to be the dominant theme affecting the patient experience measure.

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