Healthcare Net Promoter Score: Definition, Formula, & Benchmarks

Has a friend ever recommended a new doctor or healthcare provider? 

If so, you’re like the majority of people who strongly value first-hand healthcare recommendations. 

Up to 80% of patients take other patient experiences and recommendations seriously.

Healthcare patient statistic

After all, aren't you more likely to visit a doctor from a glowing, first-hand recommendation? 

Whether people will recommend your healthcare facility is important when evaluating your strengths and weaknesses. 

Thankfully, these insights are easily accessible by measuring your healthcare net promoter score

In this blog, you’ll hear from our healthcare market research company about how NPS can help your facility be as successful as possible. 

What is Healthcare Net Promoter Score? 

Measuring your NPS is essential if you want a thriving medical practice. 

Research shows that 81% of patients aren't happy with their current medical experience. That's far too big a number! But what can be done to fix that? 

Healthcare patient experience statistic

A healthcare net promoter score (NPS) measures patient satisfaction by asking how likely they are to recommend your medical practice. 

Despite being a simple calculation, measuring your net promoter score offers key insights from your patients and highlights areas of improvement. 

Healthcare improvement areas discovered through an NPS survey may include: 

  • Prioritizing patient communication 
  • Reducing wait times
  • Lessening paperwork 
  • Supporting patients financially 

Generally, calculating the NPS of your company can help increase your patient satisfaction and build brand loyalty.

In a similar vein, measuring your healthcare NPS can help you retain patients to maintain a thriving practice. 

For a quick overview of what net promoter score is, watch the video below.

💡 The Key Takeaway: The NPS of a medical facility details how likely patients are to recommend the practice to others.

How to Measure NPS for Healthcare Facilities

In the healthcare industry, optimizing patient experience is an ever-present challenge. 

With roughly 60% of Americans stating they've had a negative medical experience, it's critical facilities take initiative with improving patient experience. 

Medical experience statistic

Net promoter scores have become a popular metric in the past decade.

This is largely due to their ability to reveal valuable insights for organizations. 

To calculate the NPS for your healthcare business, you will need to send out a patient satisfaction survey to your list of current and past patients. 

Questions in this survey will mainly follow the Likert scale. Following the "1 to 10" pattern, a Likert scale measures patient attitudes. 

An example NPS example question is: On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend [healthcare facility] to others?

Healthcare NPS example question

Then, scaled answers are used to calculate your healthcare net promoter score

A customer satisfaction survey company, like Drive Research, will go through a rigorous online survey testing process to ensure everything runs smoothly. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Measuring the healthcare net promoter score of your facility is a straightforward process. Conducted via online surveys, this score will let you know how likely patients are to recommend your services. 

Calculating Your Healthcare NPS

Three categories of patients will emerge based on responses from the patient satisfaction survey. These include:

  1. Promoters
  2. Passives 
  3. Detractors

Once you understand how these groups affect your business, you can use their feedback to boost your customer retention strategy

Below, we’ll go over what each term represents. 


A promoter selected 9 to 10 on the survey, meaning they would go out of their way to recommend your healthcare practice to others.

Promoters are the most loyal customers. 


A passive customer rated 7 to 8 on the scale, meaning they feel satisfied with their care. That said, they will not often recommend it to others. 

Passive customers are decently loyal to the brand but could be swayed by rivals and use other services.


A detractor chose from 0 to 6 when considering when to recommend. 

The range to be included as a detractor is larger than the first two categories.

This is because those who rate their satisfaction on lower tiers are more likely to resonate with negative aspects of the business. 

Healthcare NPS Formula + Benchmark

The difference between the percentage of promoters and the percentage of detractors calculates the NPS. 

Healthcare NPS = % of promoters - % of detractors

The total score can range from -100 to +100, with positive numbers being the "best." 

Though, according to Customer Gauge and their latest NPS benchmark report, +58 is the average net promoter score for the healthcare industry. 

healthcare nps formula

💡 The Key Takeaway: Patients are grouped into three categories based on their responses. Promoters, passives, and detractors are at the core of a healthcare NPS.

Improving Your Healthcare Net Promoter Score

Many factors go into creating a "good" net promoter score in healthcare

Ideally, the score should be updated annually and each year to be benchmarked against prior performance.

Calculating your healthcare organization's NPS is a metric that can support long-term business development. 

But how do you actually improve your score? Below are strategies our healthcare market research company recommends based on our experience measuring patient satisfaction with surveys.

1. Identify common themes among detractors

Before we jump in, we want to set the stage. Below are a few statistics about the current sentiment of patients. 

  • Future patients can form an opinion about a medical facility from one to six online reviews, meaning one poor review can do a lot of damage
  • One in five patients has a hard time getting in touch with their medical office
  • Up to 43% of millennial patients are on the verge of changing practices 
  • 88% of patients take notice of a burned-out doctor  

millennial patients statistic

Each of these issues set the stage for what could cause someone to become a “passive” or "detractor." 

Detractors are often honest about issues that exist within your healthcare facility, and those criticisms should be taken seriously. 

Input from this audience can highlight what negative factors are most impacting the patient experience.

Here you can determine what areas are high priority, what can be delayed, and what can be ignored.

These changes can make the biggest difference in improving customer satisfaction and your business as a whole. 

2. Spotlight promoter opinions

While it's always important to understand negative feedback, positive opinions from promoters are also valuable in bettering your service. 

Promoters with positive sentiment for the brand can share the most impactful elements of their healthcare experience in NPS surveys. 

Once you find the key differentiating factors that promoters share, they should be prioritized throughout the business.

Ensuring all patients enjoy the benefits of your healthcare facility could push passives to become promoters. 

For example, promoters said the customer service at your healthcare organization increased their loyalty. 

The customer service team should be aware of the positive feedback, and ensure it continues. 

If a passive has a great customer service experience, they may become a promoter and recommend your organization to others. 

This process ensures that healthcare professionals are listening to customers and understand what they are looking for in their healthcare provider. 

3. Ask passives how to improve

Healthcare organizations should pay close attention to feedback from passives, as they are more likely to switch to promoters. 

Targeting passives directly can push your organization to resolve the issues that prevent them from recommending the brand. 

In many cases, making a specifically targeted change based on passives can make an impact on future healthcare net promoter scores. 

This can include feedback on marketing materials, such as what channels and positioning to use. 

It could inform the healthcare organization’s strategy and shift it to be more engaging to customers.  

💡 The Key Takeaway: What are your promoters, passives, and detractors saying? Improving the NPS of your healthcare facility can be done by carefully observing respondent data. 

Value of Calculating NPS in Healthcare

Net promoter scores are a widely used market research tool for healthcare organizations because they can bring valuable change to the organization in a short time. 

Data for NPS is collected using online surveys, meaning data collection is fast and cost-effective.

The quantitative measurements quickly provide insights that can be used to improve the business. 

In fact, nearly two-thirds of healthcare organizations are prioritizing improving the patient experience. Luckily, NPS is a metric that can directly support organizational experience.

patient experience statistic (1)

Below are more significant benefits of measuring healthcare NPS.

1. Improving patient loyalty 

Patient loyalty is a great marker of a successful healthcare organization.

Your healthcare net promoter score is a simple way to measure patient loyalty, especially since it’s always changing. 

The metric offers a true picture of the likelihood of a recommendation, and patients’ feelings about a brand.

Honest feedback from patients can show organizations what factors have made promoters loyal and kept detractors away. 

Therefore, patient loyalty should be built into the business model of healthcare facilities, and this can be done effectively by analyzing NPS results. 

Higher satisfaction rates build loyalty, and loyal customers are more likely to recommend your services to others and grow your clientele.

Aside from measuring NPS, consider implementing patient loyalty surveys for an even deeper look. 

Recommended Reading: How to Conduct a Patient Loyalty Survey

2. Reduce patient churn

Patient turnover can be reduced when your organization learns about customer pain points. Thankfully, healthcare market research focuses on permanently ending those areas of frustration and dissatisfaction.

For example, if a common response in the healthcare NPS survey was that your organization has excessive wait times, this issue can be focused on to improve first.

Similarly, you can capitalize on what promoters said was positive about their healthcare experiences. This can be continued and replicated with other patients. Or, featured in marketing materials to encourage new business.

3. Earn benchmarking data

Healthcare net promoter scores are often used as internal metrics for future comparison.

Analyzing trends in patient loyalty over time highlights ways to improve your healthcare organization–what has worked in the past and what needs to be changed. 

For this to be truly effective, you should benchmark your score, or add context to it. This adds detail to the patient satisfaction metric.

This could mean comparing how your score changes over time or how they currently compare to industry standards and competitors. 

Additionally, to compare with a competing healthcare facility, you can ask survey respondents how likely they are to recommend the competitor or about their strengths and weaknesses.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Calculating your NPS will improve the overall patient experience at your medical facility. By focusing on common pain points, you’ll reduce patient loss and increase retention. 

Measure Your Healthcare NPS with Drive Research

There are many factors that go into creating a positive patient experience. By measuring the NPS of your medical facility, you’ll be able to understand the unique needs of your patients. 

Drive Research is a national full-service market research firm based in New York. Our team will partner with yours to calculate an accurate NPS for your healthcare organization. 

Contact us today for more information.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

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