Feature June 22, 2022 John Bernot, MD

5 ways to better manage patient expectations for improved satisfaction scores

Here are five ways Ayva can help manage patient recovery expectations after a surgical procedure for improved satisfaction scores.

It’s not uncommon for patients to give low satisfaction scores due to unmet expectations for recovery after a surgical procedure. 

One study of total hip replacement (THR) and total knee replacement (TKR) surgeries found 50% of patients had higher recovery expectations for themselves than their surgeons did, resulting in high levels of patient dissatisfaction.1

This gap begs the question, why do patients have much higher recovery expectations for themselves than their providers—where is the disconnect? 

A possible explanation is the well-documented issue of patient-provider communication roadblocks. Breakdowns in the doctor-patient relationship and communication are among the top reasons for patient dissatisfaction scores and complaints,2 further impacting patient satisfaction scores.

As patient satisfaction scores are increasingly tied to OAS CAHPS reimbursements, it’s essential that outpatient departments and ASCs do everything they can to proactively avoid low satisfaction scores, including helping patients have realistic recovery expectations.  

How to establish realistic patient recovery expectations

Here are five practical ways your outpatient department or surgery center can communicate realistic recovery expectations to patients: 

  1. Avoid medical jargon. Use of medical jargon with patients increases the likelihood they will not understand informed consent forms and what will happen to them before, during, and after a surgical procedure.3
  2. Send educational resources, including images and videos, for all health literacy levels. Lack of comprehension of discharge instructions and post-op care plans impacts your patients’ ability to self-manage their recovery at home,4 potentially leading to sub-optimal outcomes and low satisfaction scores.  
  3. Enable two-way communication. Ensure your patients have the opportunity to connect with their care team and ask questions about what to expect. You may even consider sending a digital nudge to prompt patients to ask questions that they may have been hesitant to ask. 
  4. Communicate with patients multiple times before their scheduled procedure. Provide patients with multiple touchpoints in the days and weeks leading up to their surgical procedure with valuable educational content. This will help manage recovery expectations and anxiety levels.  
  5. Share patient stories about length of recovery and expected pain levels. Send patient stories and detailed information about optimal and sub-optimal recoveries. This will allow patients to see how they can play a bigger role in self-managing their care for better outcomes and, ideally, high satisfaction scores. 

The good news is that the right digital health tool can do all this and more. 

Effective patient-provider communication doesn’t have to be in-person. In fact, 73% of patients want the ability to text their provider.5

Have you considered how a digital health solution with two-way messaging can close the gap between patient and provider recovery expectations? 

How are you managing patient expectations? 

Improving patient satisfaction scores is about much more than making patients happy—it’s about their holistic experience. 

In the coming years when OAS CAHPS becomes mandatory, it’s vital to the financial health of your organization to have a solution to support patients wherever they are in their care journey. 

Ayva, a dynamic patient engagement platform, is that solution. From improving patient-provider communication to establishing realistic recovery expectations after a surgical procedure, Ayva can help. 

 Meet Ayva today!

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Shane Andreasen

Bravado Health


Bravado Health Media Line


(561) 805-5935