4 things EMS Companies With the Highest Patient Experience Ratings Do Differently… Number 4 May Surprise You.

We reviewed our database of over 98 agencies in 25 states and examined our top box scores. This analysis shows what the highest rated agencies had in common in their patient experience surveys. The top box scores for the top 10 performing agencies average 1.67 points above the national average score of 92.19. The company with the leading EMS patient experience score ranks 3.40 points above the national average at 95.59.

The 4 areas where the top scoring EMS agencies are outperforming the average in patient experience are that they:

1. Show Care While Giving Care

Medics from the top performing agencies listen, show care, and make patients comfortable. Patients of the top 10 agencies reported that the most significant factor is “The care shown by the medics who arrived with the ambulance”. The top 10 scored an average 2.20 points higher for this question than the national benchmark.

Question Top 10 Average National Average Variance
Care shown by the medics who arrived with the ambulance 95.84 93.64 +2.20

 

Our national leaders in “care shown” receive patient comments that illustrate this further:

“The persons with the ambulance were outstanding in every way. They could not have been any nicer, considerate, or attentive. Really helpful!”

“The medic who rode in back with me helped me to relax, gave me confidence in the outcome & made the ordeal much easier”

What are you doing in your training and what behaviors are you encouraging to make sure your medics take your patient’s comfort as seriously as they take the medical care? Some medics inherently demonstrate this type of nurturing and concern, others can benefit from intentional educational and quality improvement interventions.

2. Exhibit a High Level of Skill

It should not be surprising that the highest-rated agencies also have patients that feel the medics are highly skilled. The best performing agencies in our database rank 2.15 points higher than the database average on skill.

Question Top 10 Average National Average Variance
Skill of the medics 95.65 93.50 +2.15

 

However, it is important to note that the survey is not a technical review or skills assessment. Often the perception of medic skills is impacted greatly by showing care and listening (see number 1 and number 3). Comments like this one very much blur the line between perception of skill and care.

“They saved my husband’s life. They knew exactly what to do. They kept me informed and even stopped to comfort me after all was said and done. I have had ambulance staff treat me terrible before and this was not the case.”

Patient comments show that keeping customers informed is as important as the medics treatment abilities. The best performers understand the importance of communication as it relates to the delivery of care.

3. Listen to Their Patients

In every emergency patients and their loved ones experience stress, trauma, or even shock. Feeling heard and seen in those moments can greatly impact the perception about the quality of the interaction. High scoring medics listen and take action to help patients feel they understand the potential impact on their lives.

Question Top 10 Average National Average Variance
Degree to which the medics took your problem seriously 95.62 93.35 +2.27

 

“They listened and seemed to observe w/great compassion, yet very skillfully”

Comments like these are common across all of the highly rated agencies in the database. High performance medics make each patient and family feel like they are the most important and highest priority.

4. Keep the Ambulances Clean

Cleanliness is a perceived indicator of professionalism and an actual indicator of a safe environment for you to care for patients. Our top performing agencies outperformed the national average by 1.82 on cleanliness of the ambulance. Keep the equipment clean and well cared for, it will make your patients experience more comfortable.

Question Top 10 Average National Average Variance
Cleanliness of the Ambulance 95.03 93.21 +1.82

 

“I tend to pay attention to how clean things are at the hospital, but it was nice to see that you folks take good care of your vehicles and how they look”

Cleanliness of the ambulance rated highly in cases where the comments included professionalism and also often included the patient reporting, “feeling safe”. Top performers are managing professionalism and the patient feedback shows that translate into high marks.

Performance metrics for this analysis were averaged across the top rated EMS agencies in our national database of 98 EMS agencies and over 235,000 benchmarked patient experiences. The top rated agencies showed the soft skills that connect professionalism with care make a significant difference in patient experience.

If we want to see continued improvements in patient care, agencies should be intentional about measuring performance and developing related training for constant improvements in patient experience.