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Christina Villarreal: Measuring Patient Experience Success

How do you measure patient experience? Christina Villarreal, Patient Experience Manager of Dental Associates, explains how they measure patient experience to intentionally improve the experience.

"We have to measure. If we don't measure, we don't know how if we're improving. What we do at Dental Associates is we use a few different tools and platforms to measure our patient's experience," says Villarreal.

Patient Surveys

Dental Associates uses a third party service to randomly survey new and existing patients to learn about different parts of the patient experience. The scores and  comments are examined to find trends and identify opportunities for improvement in their clinics and each one of their doctor teams.

Patient Prism

"We use Patient Prism to monitor our new patient phone calls, which is extremely important," says Villarreal. "We want to be sure that when new patients call us, we are building those connections and taking care of those patients and booking those appointments. We  monitor our staff on the calls and use all the data that we get from the Patient Prism dashboards to see how we're doing."

Social Media

Any time comments pop up on their social media anywhere, Dental Associates is notified. "We have a great team that will respond to those posts and get in touch with those patients to make sure that if any service recovery is needed, we do so. And we also thank those patients that provide positive reviews."

Dental Associates looks for themes among the comments and for aspects of patient experience that need improvement. "We find opportunities where we can improve our patient's experience, whether it is that first phone call or when they walk in the door, or each interaction that they have with us."

What They Measure 

Dental Associates measures different aspects of the patient experience, for example:

  • phone calls
  • doctor-patient interaction
  • hygiene-patient interaction
  • assistant-patient interaction
  • front desk-patient interaction
  • the facility
  • wait times
  • payment issues

"On surveys, there are multiple questions that we ask to find out what patients feel about different parts of their journey with us at their visit," says Villarreal. "Then with social media, we do keep track of how many reviews we get. We also have a platform that we use to monitor how many times specific parts of the experience are negative. For example, we monitor wait times. We want to see where the negative and positive trends lie."

About this Industry Leader:

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Christina Villarreal

Patient Experience Manager, Dental Associates


Christina Villarreal joined Dental Associates in 2007 and quickly rose to the position of Patient Experience Manager. Christina is constantly looking for ways to improve the patient experience at Dental Associates' 14 practices in Wisconsin. She works closely with every team member both in the practices and in corporate support roles to identify issues and implement strategies that will increase patient satisfaction and employee morale. Christina is usually in the practices, talking to team members and observing them in action. The hands-on knowledge leads to more effective training techniques and ensures everyone on the team understands the goals and how success is tracked. She uses a series of key performance indicators and reports the findings to the executive team monthly.


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