In the late 1970s, Dr. Irwin Press, PhD, posed a seemingly simple question to his medical anthropology students at the University of Notre Dame that would forever change the patient experience. Press asked if the way cultures around the globe treat health, illness and healing had any relevance to contemporary medicine.
Dr. Press, who would soon co-found Press Ganey Associates, Inc., ignited a spark within himself and health care that would quickly turn into an intense passion for understanding the modern patient’s experience. Dr. Press became known as the leading expert within the patient satisfaction field, delivering numerous lectures and presentations on the correlation between risk management and how understanding patients’ social, cultural and emotional needs, as well as their clinical needs, could prevent claims.
By 1984, patient satisfaction was top of mind for many hospital administrators – yet, they did not have a way to systematically and scientifically measure it, nor improve it. That’s when passion met substance: Dr. Press understood the importance of survey methodology when establishing a patient satisfaction program and his interest blossomed into a unique idea. By early 1985, he had developed a survey that would measure patient satisfaction as a means to improve performance. To fulfill his mission to help improve health care, Dr. Press needed a knowledgeable partner with expertise in statistics and survey methodology. He found that partner in Dr. Rod Ganey, PhD.