Difference Between Patient Satisfaction and Patient Experience


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Source: piHappiness

What is Patient Experience?

Patient experience is defined as the interaction patients have with the system of healthcare. This includes every aspect of healthcare. Like the yield from health plans, the behavior of doctors and medical staff, various healthcare facilities, and physical tests. Delivering quality care is the most important part of the patient experience. Ensuring good patient experience means to stand up to the patient’s expectations of what they seek in times of need. One could:

  • Ensure that the patients receive timely appointments.
  • Provide the means to easily contact healthcare providers.
  • Ensure that patients have easy access to crucial information.
  • Use patient feedback software for a better understanding of what patients are experiencing.
  • Use patient experience survey software to predict the needs of the patients and to repair the defects or shortcomings of the system.

What is Patient Satisfaction?

A subjective healthcare measure, Patient satisfaction is a fulfillment of the expectations they have of the healthcare they seek or pay for. By subjective, it means that different patients will have different levels of satisfaction for the same quality of healthcare owing to different kinds of expectations. It is difficult to look at patient satisfaction as an official measure for improvement. This is because patient satisfaction depends on as little as the layout of a room to the degree of cure a particular service can bring about. However, the importance of patient satisfaction can not be discredited. A few ways to make patients feel satisfied are:

  • Offering customized service by tracking their previous experience feedback.
  • Investing time in educating the patients.
  • Maintaining cleanliness at all times.
  • Using a patient satisfaction survey software to understand how satisfied patients are with the service.
  • Making sure that the patient can easily reach out to authorities with their opinions at any time. For example, the use of a patient feedback app, which is very user friendly, may be encouraged.

Points of Difference between Patient Experience and Patient Satisfaction

Patient satisfaction and experience are closely linked and, often, co-dependant. These terms carry entirely different meanings for healthcare professionals. It is very important to understand and align one’s work with the right interpretation of these terms. The differences between patient satisfaction and patient experience are enlisted below.

Patient satisfaction is the balanced measure of the quality of care whereas patient experience focuses on the way the healthcare facilities are perceived by the patient. How satisfied a patient feels is subjective and can differ from person to person. Thus, more value is placed in providing patients with a good experience. Using a patient experience survey software to conduct experience surveys may help in understanding the situation better if objective quality measures were met already.

Patient satisfaction tilts towards the more commercial aspect of healthcare, by focusing on how more patients can be prompted to engage with the service being provided. On the other hand, the patient experience focuses more on the humane side of healthcare, including benefits, which take into consideration factors like affordability and accessibility of services. The quality of care and treatment is more important than the quality of food or other amenities. Irrespective of how important patient satisfaction is, hospital perks cannot make up for a lack of proper diagnosis and care.

Patient satisfaction is a more generalized measure, which tends to cover groups of patients. For example, a patient satisfaction survey software can give a general idea about how satisfied patients were with the various perks and atmosphere of the healthcare center. Patient experience is a personalized measure, specific to individual patients. It includes providing individuals with a patient feedback software so they can give anonymous feedback. This can help in paying heed to understanding what kind of care a patient is looking for on a personal level.

Patient satisfaction refers to the feedback gained on the different technical aspects of healthcare services only. Simple things like the temperature of the food or clean bedsheets can boost patient satisfaction. But these factors, while important, are not always very critical or absolute. Patient experience is a broad term that takes a wide range of items under its purview. It is more of a holistic measure, taking into account different non-technical factors that influence healthcare services. It includes optimizing various aspects of patient interaction, from communication, hospital environment, and safety to providing top-quality care.


While it is very important to understand the difference between patient satisfaction and patient experience, it is also important to give equal importance to both. Platforms like piHappiness customer feedback system can provide faster ways to connect to patients and engage with them on an interactive and personal basis through a patient feedback app. This helps in gathering patient satisfaction survey details or patient feedback from multiple points on multiple channels. With the help of such advanced technology, providing satisfying healthcare and offering a good experience to the patients can become quite a bit easier for professionals in the sector.

Vinod Janapala
Vinod Janapala - Product (SaaS) Marketing & Customer Analytics Lead. Vinod is keen on such topics as Marketing, Customer Experience, SaaS Challenges, and Personal Growth.


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