Mystery Shopping / Research


Baird Group Research

Healthcare mystery shopping, patient focus groups and interviews help leaders understand the patient experience by offering insights that you can’t otherwise achieve.

Patient satisfaction surveys (including HCAHPS) tell you how patients rate you, but they don’t explain the “why” behind the scores. We not only reveal the “why,”, but we also give practical solutions for improvement.

While we are not a survey company, we uncover vital consumer perceptions that help you understand and improve the experiences.

You pose the problem, and we design the best methodology to reveal the most meaningful data. We do this by conducting:

  • Focus groups – We do a deep-dive into how people truly feel about their experiences with your healthcare organization through carefully curated focus groups comprised of:
    • Consumers
    • Patients
    • Employees
  • In-depth interviews – The best way to get to know your customers is by listening to them. Through our interviews, we learn what makes them tick and what ticks them off.
  • Mystery shopping – Learn how your employees interact with patients and other members of the public when you’re not looking.
  • Gap Analysis – Data is only useful when you apply it to real-life solutions. We use the information gathered to identify where your gaps in service are and how you can close them.

Healthcare Mystery Shopping Services

Mystery shopping is a type of observational research.

Baird Group specializes in mystery shopping, which involves trained observers seeking medical services, evaluating their experiences and revealing strengths and opportunities. This is a method of evaluating employees that is much more targeted than surveys.f The type of mystery shopping (also known as secret shopping) conducted depends on the service line being assessed and what service problems you are trying to solve. We have methods applied in inpatient and outpatient settings that can ultimately improve HCAHPS scores.

Mystery shopping evaluates:

  • Virtual Visit Experience – How easy is it for patients to access virtual visit options? How do patients evaluate the quality of virtual patient visits?
  • Access issues – Can patients get appointments in a timely fashion? How are they treated when they seek appointments? What is the hassle-factor?
  • Customer service – How are patients and potential patients treated? What impresses or disappoints them? Based on their experience, will they return or recommend?
  • Service behaviors – You’ve done the training and set the expectations. Now it’s time to validate the standards in action. Are staff following the standards? Who are your stars?
  • Overall experience with people, processes and environment – Consumers make decisions based on how they feel about their experience. Mystery shoppers document both facts and feelings to paint a realistic picture of your organization through the consumers’ eyes.
  • The “little” things – Beyond the ordinary levels of service, how do patients feel when they leave your facility? Did the employees they encountered make an extra effort to exceed their expectations?

While healthcare mystery shopping certainly can reveal shortcomings, remember that it also can show you which staff members are following protocols every day. Once you have that information, you have the opportunity to reward those employees. Ultimately, this can help you retain the kinds of employees you want to have in your company and achieve the HCAHPS scores you desire.

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