When I went on my recent trip to Japan, I flew United Airlines. The meeting sponsors paid to have me fly in business class. It was a great experience. I could tell how the staff and the company were committed to giving me great care.
Just before the flight ended, a representative from United came over to me and surveyed me on my experience with the flight. He was very polite, but at the time, despite my love of giving feedback, I just wanted to watch the on-flight entertainment system. I think they would do well to offer an online feedback system like DrScore so that I could give my feedback at a time that was most convenient for me.
Sometimes I hear physician colleagues say that patient ratings aren’t a good way to assess the quality of health care. They have a point, but they are also missing the boat. I have no idea how to fly an airplane, much less all the other technical aspects of how airplanes and airlines work, just as most patients probably don’t know much about the technical aspects of medical care. But I do know and I can comment on whether my experience on my trip was good or bad.
Patients know whether they have received a good medical experience.
Safe, on-time air travel is like making the right diagnosis and giving the right treatment. It’s a critical foundation for great service, but it isn’t the end of great service. A caring experience is essential, too.