Patient Experience

Patient Experience

What is the difference between Patient Experience and Patient Satisfaction?

Patient Experience and Patient Satisfaction have overlapping definitions, which can lead to a degree of confusion. It is vital that healthcare professionals understand the difference between the two and apply them appropriately to their work. By appropriately distinguishing between the concepts, we can ensure we provide suitable patient-centred services.


Defining patient experience


According to The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) (USA), patient experience is the following:


The patient’s experience encompasses the range of interactions that patients have with the health care system, including their care from health plans and from doctors, nurses, and staff in hospitals, physician practices and other health care facilities. As an integral component of health care quality, patient experience includes several aspects of health care delivery that patients value highly when they seek and receive care, such as getting timely appointments, easy access to information and good communication with health care providers.


The Beryl Institute (USA), a health organization dedicated to improving patient experience, defines it as:


“The sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care”.


Patient experience clearly involves different aspects of the health system -from communication in the hospitable context, to security- which all determine whether the patient is provided with quality healthcare.


Defining Patient Satisfaction


Patient satisfaction is concerned with the patient’s expectations of the care they receive. In other words, satisfaction is subjective; Two patients may receive exactly the same level of care, but they perceive different levels of satisfaction since they have different subjective expectations. This may result from, whether the patient likes the design of their room, for example; While the room might score highly according to certain measures, ultimately it is a subjective measurement.


The concept of patient satisfaction seems to be used less frequently in the healthcare system. A quick Google search reveals that “patient satisfaction” is used far less as a standard for health quality. While this does nothing to reduce the importance of patient satisfaction, it indicates that the industry uses “patient experience” as a measure of improvements in quality.




What is Different Between Patient Experience, Satisfaction? [sic] Retrieved July 12, 2019 at


Of interest:

The XPatient Barcelona Congress, one of the major events promoted by XPA Barcelona (Patient Experience), will be held on 17 and 18 September 2019 in an attempt to replace the current care model with one that sees the patient as the key, principle agent. The congress will share the conclusions reached by the XPA Barcelona workshops and activities and the medical community will be invited to comment on the results, in order to create initiatives and good working practices and to ensure they are implemented in the health system.

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