Assessing treatment outcomes using a single question: the net promoter score

Bone Joint J. 2014 May;96-B(5):622-8. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.96B5.32434.


Satisfaction with care is important to both patients and to those who pay for it. The Net Promoter Score (NPS), widely used in the service industries, has been introduced into the NHS as the 'friends and family test'; an overarching measure of patient satisfaction. It assesses the likelihood of the patient recommending the healthcare received to another, and is seen as a discriminator of healthcare performance. We prospectively assessed 6186 individuals undergoing primary lower limb joint replacement at a single university hospital to determine the Net Promoter Score for joint replacements and to evaluate which factors contributed to the response. Achieving pain relief (odds ratio (OR) 2.13, confidence interval (CI) 1.83 to 2.49), the meeting of pre-operative expectation (OR 2.57, CI 2.24 to 2.97), and the hospital experience (OR 2.33, CI 2.03 to 2.68) are the domains that explain whether a patient would recommend joint replacement services. These three factors, combined with the type of surgery undertaken (OR 2.31, CI 1.68 to 3.17), drove a predictive model that was able to explain 95% of the variation in the patient's recommendation response. Though intuitively similar, this 'recommendation' metric was found to be materially different to satisfaction responses. The difference between THR (NPS 71) and TKR (NPS 49) suggests that no overarching score for a department should be used without an adjustment for case mix. However, the Net Promoter Score does measure a further important dimension to our existing metrics: the patient experience of healthcare delivery.

Keywords: Arthroplasty; Experience; Hip; Knee; Outcomes; Satisfaction.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / psychology
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / rehabilitation
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / standards*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / psychology
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / rehabilitation
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / standards*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Management / standards
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics
  • Scotland
  • State Medicine / standards
  • Treatment Outcome