How AI Makes Patient-Centered Care a Reality

08.24.2017 • Senem Guney, PhD, CPXP

Refresh to see imageIn a recent article, Forbes asked us great questions to reveal the inspiration and mission behind NarrativeDx. I wanted to highlight that mission again here because I refer back to it each time we onboard a new partner.

At NarrativeDx, we built the AI platform for patient experience because we knew patients’ voices mattered and we knew that check-box surveys would be too limited to truly make patients’ voices heard.

As I continue to articulate through every opportunity I get, the industry owes a great deal to HCAHPS surveys for bringing a real focus to standardizing patient experience data and measurement. When HCAHPS survey results began to impact the bottom line of hospitals in recent years, the financial incentives around reimbursement became aligned with the clinical mission of the industry to provide high-quality patient-centered care with excellent patient experiences.

This alignment gave NarrativeDx (and other healthcare technology companies) a great opportunity to innovate in this special space that allows for patients’ perceptions of the care they receive to impact the design and delivery of that care.

In 2013, when reimbursement cuts based on the Value-Based Purchasing program first took effect, hospital administrators were investing all of their resources in the administration, review and reporting of HCAHPS surveys. No one at the time would have thought of patient experience as a hot space for AI, because “data” in this space were limited to survey scores.

We thought differently.

As I highlighted in my conversation with Forbes, we knew that hospital administrators would soon realize the limitations of surveys to hear the voice of their patients. Survey scores allow you to compare numbers between quarters or between your institution and your peer institutions. This type of comparison gives you some sense of where you stand in the market but a number without any context does not tell you what to do about improving that number and why.

That context is in another type of data. It is in narrative data that reflect patients’ experiences in their own words. Analyzing narrative data on patient experiences in large volumes and over time requires an AI platform built on a domain-specific ontology for accuracy, consistency, and speed.

No easy feat, but that was what had to be done, and we did it.

Like every founder of a company on the growth trajectory, my favorite question to answer is How do you see your company evolving in the next three to five years, and what impact do you hope to make on the industry?”

When we were answering that question four years ago in our first presentations, we were describing where we are today and would say: We will bring a new way of thinking about data and measurement into patient experience. By amplifying patients’ voices in the trends we show from their own words, we will contribute to making patient-centered care a reality.”

That new way of thinking is becoming more prevalent in today’s healthcare organizations and we are thrilled to have accomplished the goal we had set out for ourselves at the inception of NarrativeDx.

Our goal today is that in three to five years, patient experience leaders out there will not engage in any patient (or employee) experience initiatives without knowing the NarrativeDx analysis on what their patients need and expect of their care services.

We look forward to realizing the next phase of our mission. 

I'd love to hear about how your organization makes sense of narrative data for improving the patient experience. Let's talk - feel free to reach out to me via email: Senem (at)

Senem Guney, PhD, CPXP is the Founder and Chief Experience Officer at NarrativeDx. Follow Senem on Twitter: @SenemNDx

Senem Guney, PhD, CPXP

Senem Guney, PhD, CPXP

Founder and Chief Patient Experience Officer, NarrativeDx

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