Understanding your Patient Satisfaction Score


A Patient Satisfaction Score (PSS) is a simple metric for customer loyalty and practice advocacy, based on a single question, ‘How likely are you to recommend our practice to your family and friends?’. Your customers rate your service on a scale of 0-10, and are categorised into three groups accordingly: 

  • Supporters have scored you an 8 - 10. They are your biggest supporters and will be more likely to recommend you to their friends, family, or colleagues. To gauge a little more information, we will ask supporters to tell us what we did well, and compliment if they like!
  • Indifferents have rated you a 4 - 7. They can’t be called happy customers, yet they are not disgruntled either. In this case we ask them what we could improve and give them the opportunity to extrapolate in a comment box.  
  • Critics have given you a score from 0 – 3. They are unhappy with your service and are very unlikely to recommend you to anyone. We will ask them what needs attention now to try to unpack why. They also have the option to add a comment.

 The Patient Satisfaction Score (PSS) is calculated as the difference between the percentage of Supporters and Critics. The PSS is not expressed as a percentage but as an absolute number lying between -100 and +100. For instance, if you have 25% Supporters, 55% Indifferents and 20% Critics, the PSS will be +5. Generally, a number below 0 is considered to be a low score, a number between 1 and 30 a medium score and a number between 31 and 100 a high score. We will provide further industry-specific analysis on scores from time to time.

Depending on the purpose, statistically you will need at least 100 total respondents over a three month period in order to achieve a level of validity.

Why Use a PSS?

1. Simple implementation

Unlike some of its counterparts, our user-friendly PSS survey doesn’t include a long list of vague to incomprehensible questions. Rather, one main question – based around referral probability – followed by a couple of clarification opportunities underlying the response, providing important quantitative and qualitative data. This data can be used to provide some meaningful analysis for reflection, and potentially as a change driver.

2. Quick to complete

Time taken to complete is a critical element in survey design, and the shorter the survey, the better the chances for a higher completion rate. This reduces bias as the survey will then be completed by a broad cross-section of patients, rather than just by those who are strongly affiliated with your practice or have a lot of time available. 

3. Enhances customer loyalty

First and foremost, the very focus of the PSS metric is to measure customer loyalty. You first listen to your customers by collecting their PSS scores, you analyse feedback, then act on it and finally grow by increasing customer loyalty. You don’t leverage your PSS survey until you close this feedback loop. 

4. Benchmark against competition

An obvious way to grow your business is by building first-class services of superior quality. To achieve this, you don’t need to get to a magic point and stay there, you need to keep upgrading continually to meet best practice. The PSS tool gives you a real time gauge of how you are tracking compared to your competition.


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