Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is mystery shopping the same thing as secret shopping?
    Yes, you will often hear these terms interchanged, but they do mean the same thing. A mystery shopper or secret shopper is someone who phones in or comes on site as a new patient or visitor in order to share their experiences and impressions in healthcare settings.
  • Who have you worked with?
    The Baird Group works only in healthcare, but our mystery shopping clients are diverse within the medical community. Our medical mystery shopping experiences include work with small medical practices, critical access hospitals, long-term care facilities, and large academic medical centers.
  • What happens if the mystery shopper comes in or calls on a day that we are short staffed or under construction?
    Every impression counts, and those impressions occur on a daily basis, regardless of staff changes or other outside circumstances. Mystery shopping is a qualitative assessment. In other words, we are seeking individual patient perceptions and feedback. Whether the experience is exceptional or disappointing, it is the mystery shopper’s job to tell us what happened and how they felt about that experience.
  • How do mystery shoppers assess the job of the physician or nurse?
    Our mystery shoppers do not assess any clinical skills. They are there to document the patient experience so that the client can better understand the feelings associated at critical points of the encounter. For example, during a patient visit, all staff will be assessed but only about non-clinical issues.
  • We are already doing patient satisfaction surveys, so why would we do mystery shopping?
    Patient satisfaction surveys are a great tool that can help you find out more about the experiences of current patients, but mystery shopping will help you find out about “the ones that got away." What is the experience for your potential patients and how many of them would choose to recommend or return to your facility? Mystery shopping is the key to answering this question.
  • What can I expect to receive at the end of the secret shopping study?
    Baird provides online access to reporting throughout the mystery shopping process. Once the study is completed, we provide a comprehensive final report that includes:
    • Reports that show location and employee scores
    • Positive and negative comments pulled from the patient encounters
    • Overall impression scores
    • Strengths and weaknesses
    • Recommendations
    • Critical next steps

In addition, Baird will give a final presentation of the results either on site or virtually.

  • Do you ever have mystery shoppers come in as actual patients?
    Yes, this is a common request, and it has extremely beneficial results because you are given the full patient experience from picking up the phone to interacting with multiple staff throughout the on-site encounter.
  • How much will it cost?
    The cost of mystery shopping varies according to the number of visits as well as the type of mystery shopping that is included in your study. Our main objective is to clearly understand your goals and to design a study that can help you achieve those goals in the most cost-effective way.
  • Who are the mystery shoppers?
    Our mystery shoppers are located across the country, and most have previous experience in the mystery shopping industry. Any shopper that is new to Baird must become certified by our staff prior to starting any project, and our large database of shoppers allows us to utilize individuals that meet all of the client’s criteria. We utilize shoppers who are close enough to the client that they are a true representation of their market.

To learn more about how medical mystery shopping can help shape your patients' experiences, contact


Download Our Mystery Shopping Brochure

Secret patient interacting with a health care practitioner.

Mystery Shopping provides insights into the quality of patient experiences that patient satisfaction surveys often miss. Our large database of mystery shoppers allows us to choose secret patients for your medical facility who closely match your criteria.

If you have more questions about secret shopping in a healthcare setting, contact us!

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