Do Patients Really Want DSO
West Monroe Partners and a dental payor emailed a survey to 2,000 people who had been a patient at one of 10 unnamed dental support organizations. To ensure accuracy, the survey was sent to at least 100 patients from each DSO.
The survey used Net Promoter Score (NPS) to gauge patient satisfaction. This score is a tool used to evaluate customer loyalty and satisfaction based on the willingness of that person to recommend a product or service provider. Organizations with high scores have customers who are more likely to recommend that product or service.
The 10 DSOs surveyed had an average score of 1. To put that in perspective, the average scores for other industries usually range from 35 to 50, with the top organizations scoring above 60. For instance, the average score is 18 for the health insurers and 58 for department and specialty stores.
In addition, a large gap in scores existed between the top- and bottom-ranked DSOs, which is practically unheard of in other industries, according to the report.
“There was an 80-point difference between the top and bottom DSO when rated for patient experience,” Irving said. “That means bottom-performing DSOs will have a poor reputation among patients, and, therefore, the future performance of the business will trend downward. On the other hand, top-performing DSOs will likely be better to work with and gain positive momentum, and their business will trend upward as a result.”
For patients, the quality of their dentist was one of the top factors that influenced their score, followed by the ease of dealing with the office staff. In fact, quality dentists mattered far more to patients than the number of locations each DSO had.
“Quality care is a foundation of positive patient experience, but it doesn’t stop there,” Irving said. “Good practices will borrow from other industries and look at how firms like Fidelity develop a sense of empathy for customers, firms like OpenTable make scheduling easier, and firms like Safelite Autoglass create trust through transparent and clear communications.”