Patient experience, pacient centered care, the evaluation of user´s satisfaction… are essential variables for the evaluation of the quality of care, but are they two sides of the same coin?. Does achieving patient satisfaction (face) require the sacrifice of the professional (cross)?

Nowadays, there is a concept of the company’s environment that is increasingly extending to more areas, including the health sector. It is “benchmarking”, which is to use as benchmarks for those processes, products or services that generate best practices and results, in order to evaluate their own and seek a continuous improvement.

From this perspective, The Beryl Institute annually elaborates a report on the factors influencing the patient experience. In its latest research report, with nearly 1700 respondents from 26 countries, they point out that leadership and organizational health culture are significant motivators in that experience, with the voice of the patient, the family and the engagement of the professional. All of them are factors of deep impact on the quality of perceived care.

The concept of engagement has a bad translation into Spanish, and therefore the scientific bibliography in our language maintains the anglicism. It can be understood as a link or commitment to work, and originally began to study as contrary to professional wear or burnout.

Today we know that these are differentiated constructs: to be engaged takes something more than not being burned. It implies a positive motivational state and a commitment to the task to carry out. It is made up of three dimensions:

  • Vigour: describes high levels of energy and mental resistance, with tenacity and persistence in the face of difficulties.
  • Dedication: alludes to a high labor involvement, inspiration, pride, challenge and perceived meaning of the work performed.
  • Absorption: corresponds to the feeling that time passes quickly due to the high concentration and enjoyment in relation to the tasks to be performed.

The results of the report indicate that when the necessary priorities are assessed in the best health organizations, the patient’s experience is first shown (understood as the integration of quality, safety and service), and second the engagement of the professionals. This latter factor has been positioned as essential in all health areas in recent years.

We should learn from the best: caring for the health proffesional is something that not only affects the individual health of the professional, directly and positively affects the experience and well-being of the patient and the care service provided.

Facilitating the engagement of health professionals will involve preventing and acting against professional wear, but also working on aspects of professional motivation, search for the sense of work done, and working and organizational conditions which provide the necessary way for these aspects to be developed. We do not need to throw the coin to the air, it is to consider all parts: patients, family and professionals, as gears of the same process: person centered care as the basis of a humanized health care system.

By Macarena Gálvez Herrer