"The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through." -- Sydney J. Harris

Minnesota Patients Pleased with Their Providers, Indicate Room for Improvement in Getting Timely Care in 2017 Patient Experience Survey

2017 Patient Experience Survey Results Released

In the nation’s largest and most comprehensive view of patient experience, 81 percent of Minnesota patients gave their health care provider a top rating of 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale. Two-thirds (66 percent) of patients said they experienced a top level of access to care, defined as patients who say they were able to get appointments, health care and information when they needed it.

“This information is collected directly from patients and based on their own experiences,” said Julie Sonier, President of MN Community Measurement.

Survey results for 767 clinics, separated into five categories, are included in the 2017 Patient Experience of Care Survey published by MN Community Measurement (MNCM). These clinic level survey results are available for the public online at

“Sharing these results can help patients make quality decisions about their health care and help clinics and medical groups learn what they can do to improve the results,” added Sonier.

The survey measures patient experience in five categories, in terms of whether patients were:

  • getting care when needed (“Access to Care”)
  • receiving coordinated care defined by asking patients how often providers knew their medical history, followed up to give results of tests and asked about prescription medications being taken (“Care Coordination”)
  • satisfied with their provider (“Provider Rating”)
  • experiencing courteous and helpful office staff (“Office Staff”)
  • being listened to and receiving understandable information and instructions (“Provider Communication”)

“Since MNCM unveiled the state’s first patient experience results in 2013, many clinics have used this information to focus on improving experiences for their patients,” said Sonier. “These results are also used to recognize outstanding service and health care satisfaction for clinics and medical groups.”

Though patients are generally reporting positive experience, the latest survey does show significant differences between clinics. Here are some highlights from the survey:

  • 66 percent of respondents said they had top-level Access to Care. Individual clinics have results ranging from 33 to 91 percent.
  • 73 percent of respondents gave their clinic the most positive rating possible when asked about Care Coordination. Across individual clinics, the low score was 49 percent and the high score was 87 percent.
  • 81 percent of respondents gave their provider a top rating of 9 or 10 on a 10-point Provider Rating scale. Individual clinics ranged from 46 to 94 percent of providers receiving a top rating.
  • 83 percent of respondents gave the office staff at their clinics top marks for being respectful and helpful. A 35 percentage difference is noted between the highest and lowest rated clinics.
  • 86 percent of respondents described communication from their providers as top-level. Across individual clinics, the low score was 59 percent and the high score was 96 percent.

One clinic, Surgical Consultants in Edina, MN ranked in the top 15 performers across 4 of 5 survey categories. Three clinics, Gunderson Health System in La Crescent, MN, Minnesota Oncology in Fridley, MN and Essentia Health Pillager Clinic in Pillager, MN ranked in the top 15 performers across 3 of 5 survey categories. For additional information on top performers, click here.

Results by Region

A regional analysis, based on the patient’s zip code, shows that among the five categories, patients in Northeast Minnesota rated all five categories significantly above the statewide average. Conversely, patients in Minneapolis rated all five categories significantly below the statewide average. Patients in the Twin Cities area are less satisfied with Care Coordination as this category was rated significantly below the statewide average for patients in Minneapolis, St. Paul, West Metro and East Metro.

Further analysis of the five categories within the 2017 Patient Experience of Care Survey examining race, ethnicity and region will be published in the forthcoming Health Equity of Care Report scheduled to be released by MNCM in December 2017.

About the Survey

Results are from the more than 180,000 patient-completed surveys on patient experience of care, known as the Clinician & Group Surveys Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG-CAHPS® 3.0) survey. This is the third time that MNCM has conducted the Patient Experience of Care Survey. Twenty-nine percent of the patients surveyed responded, which is a similar response rate compared to previous years. Although the survey was completed previously in 2013 and 2015, trending and direct comparisons to previous year results are not recommended due to modifications to the questionnaire.

The data are collected as part of Minnesota’s Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System. The Minnesota Department of Health partners with MNCM to collect the data, and MNCM reports results on Individual clinics are also given access to more detailed analysis on their survey results to see where they are performing well, and identify areas for improvement. A small number of clinics in border communities in Iowa, North Dakota and Wisconsin that see Minnesota patients also chose to voluntarily submit results to MNCM.

About Us

MN Community Measurement is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving health by publicly reporting health care information. A trusted source of health care data and public reporting on quality, cost and patient experience since 2003, MNCM works with medical groups, health plans, employers, consumers and state agencies to spur quality improvement, reduce health care costs and maximize value. Learn more at