Patient opinions go digital

At Providence Medical Group, we want to know how our patients think we are doing, and a new method is making it easier to provide opinions. Since 2009, we have conducted a series of online conversations to learn more about what matters to you. More than 5,000 patients like you have been surveyed by email. As a result, we have created a panel of nearly 4,000 people who take part in regular online surveys.

Here are just a few things you told us:

  • You value the care you get - 71 percent of you were extremely satisfied with the care provided by Providence
  • How we care is important - Compassion and good communication should be a part of every office visit
  • We need to do well from A to Z - “Quality care” is based on a series of activities, starting with easy-to-schedule appointments and ending with good health results
  • You want to stay with Providence when you need a specialist - Almost all patients like the idea that PMG has medical specialists
  • We still have some work to do - Areas for improvement include better communication, easier appointment scheduling and simpler billing
“Hearing from patients helps us understand what’s working and what needs to improve,” says Joe Siemienczuk M.D., chief executive officer for Providence Medical Group. “The information we gathered will help us improve the patient experience we provide.”

We also dug a little deeper to define what quality and compassionate care really mean. We found that “compassionate care” and good communication start with the first phone conversation or greeting in the clinic. However, communication with the doctor is most important. “Little things that care providers sometimes forget – sitting in the exam room instead of standing, reading the patient’s chart before the exam and making eye contact – were called out as being necessary for a positive care experience,” Siemienczuk says.

How did patients say they measure quality? Most talked about positive experiences for the entire office visit with a strong focus on communication, patience and understanding. When asked if they would like to see reports on Providence’s quality ratings, most patients were only interested in their own clinic or physician. They were also interested in doctor to patient ratios and how clinics compare for wait times. “Knowing exactly what information patients want really helps us,” says Siemienczuk. “We’re working on many of those suggestions. In fact, we’re already offering online wait times for our immediate care clinics.”

Additional patient research will take place throughout the rest of this year. Be on the lookout for more stories about our online survey results in future issues of To Your Health. If you’re interested in being part of our online panel, email us at