Aims: To investigate the relationship between perceived quality and patients' tendencies to recommend a practice to friends and colleagues.
Methods: Data from 64 practices using the Denplan Excel Patient Survey (DEPS) were analysed. The Net Promoter Score (NPS max score 100), developed by Reichheld, is reported to each practice using DEPS. It is claimed that the NPS measures the likelihood that patients will recommend the practice to friends and colleagues. A Patient Perception Index (PPI max score 100) is also reported to practices. The PPI is calculated from the responses to the ten core questions of DEPS on perceived quality. The 64 practices were placed into three groups for data analysis according to their NPS result: group one practices receiving an NPS of less than 80, group two practices receiving an NPS of 80-89 and group three practices receiving an NPS of greater than 89. These groups represented practices scoring statistically significantly (to 90% confidence) below the mean NPS (group one), practices close to the mean NPS (group two) and practices statistically significantly (to 90% confidence) above the mean NPS.
Results: Group one practices scored a mean PPI of 73, group two scored a mean PPI of 76 and group three a mean PPI of 80. These differences in values of PPI between the groups are statistically significant (to 90% confidence). Of the ten constituent issues which contribute to PPI, the greatest difference in scoring between group one and group three was found to be around perceived value for money.
Conclusion: The probability of patients recommending a dental practice seems to rise in direct proportion to favourable perceptions of quality. A perception of 'ideal' value for money is the most highly correlated aspect with a high NPS.