How Video Feedback Fosters Physician and Patient Engagement

Physician and Patient Engagement

By enriching patient feedback channels with video, you can help foster stronger physician and patient engagement and drive deeper connections with one another.

Back in 2010, when I was just starting my career in patient experience, one of my first roles was to coach a group of physicians on communication skills. This group included those who fell below the 50th percentile in the national rankings. Alas, this was my entrance into the world of physician coaching.  

As part of the coaching experience, I would meet with the physicians, get to know them, and then review their patient satisfaction data — by far the toughest part of the process. I’ve had hundreds of these conversations with physicians over the years and have experienced firsthand how difficult it is for physicians to “accept” this data, let alone value it or understand its utility. The data was often lagging, vague, and compartmentalized into domains that could mean a number of things, making it difficult to embrace.  

Data doesn’t have to be just a four-letter word

These days, most physician coaches try to avoid the dreaded data conversation all together, instead framing the coaching around general improvement opportunities. But this seems contrary to the point. If the data is the performance metric that drives the coaching need, we should find a way to make it meaningful and valid for the people — the physicians — being measured.

Feedback truly is a gift to physicians when delivered in the right way.

Why is the data so difficult for physicians to accept and embrace? Here are three key reasons:  

  1. The dissection of human interactions: The traditional approach to measuring physician performance has been to categorize, qualify, and standardize the intimate conversations between physicians and patients. However, the problem with that approach is that our “raters” (i.e. patients) have unique perspectives, needs, and life experiences. That means their responses can vary significantly despite a physician’s performance in that domain. Since feedback is subjective, it can be challenging to identify and address every patient’s unique need and style, given physicians’ time constraints.
  2. The challenge between balancing satisfaction and quality: Physicians are incentivized on performance and have learned that a few poor or average surveys can impact their overall rating and hence their compensation. An unintended result is the pressure to “make patients happy” despite what’s truly in their best interest. I don’t know any physician who hasn’t felt pressured to make poor clinical decisions in service of their patient satisfaction data. And while it’s a balancing act to manage these conversations, there are techniques to help physicians manage through those difficult conversations with patients.
  3. Data that divides: Doctors went into medicine to help people, connect with patients, and offer support during some of the most challenging times in patients’ lives. They want to know that they are making a difference, and meaningful feedback can provide that sense of validation. However, the data shared today is based on legacy collection practices making it outdated, stale, and not truly reflective of the patient’s sentiment. What could be a source of connection to purpose and pride is often lost. Given the high rate of physician burnout, they need to receive patient feedback to uplift, restore, and foster deep connections with their patients. Feedback truly is a gift to physicians when delivered in the right way.

How can we change the conversation? How can we take a highly subjective response and turn it into an objective metric of performance that is also commonly incentivized?  

Bring physicians feedback that is meaningful to them

There are a number of ways to present feedback to physicians and leaders that can be shared, internalized, and used to drive change. But, how does that data need to be presented to be meaningful for physicians? What format will help drive greater patient value? 

Simply put, how would you like to receive feedback from patients? Like this example of a traditional feedback format?

 Physician and Patient Engagement 

Or, how about like this? Take a look at this example of video-based feedback using Medallia’s LivingLens. You can hear and feel the emotion around the recent experiences Ariel and her mom had with Dr. Smith. We get a strong sense that Dr. Smith not only put them at ease but reassured Ariel’s role as her mom’s caregiver. 

Using video to create stronger physician and patient engagement 

Video has become a universal platform for capturing both verbal and nonverbal communication, and there is good reason for that. Nonverbal behavior such as body movements and posture, facial expressions, eye contact, hand gestures, and tone of voice contribute to how we communicate and understand each other. While nonverbal communication is often more subtle, it can be more effective than verbal communication as it can convey meaning better than words. In fact, 93% of communication today is nonverbal with 55% expressed through body language and 38% expressed through tone of voice, according to research from Dr. Albert Mehrabian, a pioneer researcher of body language.  

We see our customers leverage alternative methods of feedback capture such as video to meet and enhance Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems’ (CAHPS) requirements around physician and patient engagement. When video is combined with other forms of feedback, it can create a deeper dimension to patient feedback. By enriching patient feedback channels with video, you can help foster stronger physician and patient engagement and drive deeper connections with one another. 

Are you using video to capture feedback? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to reach out to me or one of our healthcare experts, or download this solution sheet to learn more about Medallia’s video platform, LivingLens.