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8th Combined Meeting Of Orthopaedic Research Societies (CORS)


Summary Statement

Service industry metrics (the net promoter score) are being introduced as a measure of UK healthcare satisfaction. Lower limb arthroplasty, as a ‘service’, scores comparably with the most successful commercial organisations.


Satisfaction with care is important to both the patient and the payer. The Net Promoter Score, widely used in the service industry, has been recently introduced to the UK National Health Service as an overarching metric of patient satisfaction and to monitor performance. This questionnaire asks ‘customers’ if they would recommend a service or products to others. Scores range from −100 (everyone is a detractor) to +100 (everyone is a promoter). In industry, a positive score is well regarded, with those over 50 regarded as excellent. Our aims were to assess net promoter scores for joint arthroplasty, to compare these scores with direct measures of patient satisfaction, and to evaluate which factors contributed to net promoter response.


6912 individuals undergoing primary lower limb joint replacement over a five year period (Jan 2007 – Dec 2011) took part in a prospective cohort study at a single NHS University hospital. Net promoter score, clinical outcomes as measured by PROMS (Oxford Hip or Knee Score and SF-12 score), multi-faceted patient satisfaction questionnaire, demographic data and length of hospital stay were recorded. Data was collected preoperatively and at 1 year post-surgery. Multivariate regression was performed to determine which factors could predict an outcome of ‘promoter’ and ‘detractor’ at 1 year post-surgery. Significance was accepted at p = 0.1 to accommodate the confounding effect of other variables.


Net promoter scores for knee and hip replacements were 49 and 71 respectively. Strong correlation was seen between overall satisfaction and whether the patient would recommend the operation to another (r = 0.637), though regression of these factors was modest (R2 = 0.406). Only 4 factors were relevant to the net promoter response: pain relief (OR 2.13, CI 1.83 – 2.49), meeting expectations (OR 2.57, CI 2.24 – 2.97), hospital experience (OR 2.33, CI 2.03 – 2.68) and arthroplasty type (OR 2.31, CI 1.68 – 3.17). These factors drove a model able to explain 95% of the variation in net promoter score.


This is the first analysis of net promoter score for joint arthroplasty, and demonstrates values that compare favourably with the services provided by the most successful commercial organizations. The UK Department of Health describes this score as a measure of patient satisfaction. This is perhaps not completely accurate, as only a third of the variation in one response can be explained by the other, suggesting that although clearly related, these concepts are not the same. Pain relief, meeting of expectations of surgery, the hospital experience and whether the hip or knee joint is replaced are the only relevant factors in determining the net promoter response. Factors thought to influence clinical outcome such as depression, number of comorbidities, age and gender carry no influence with this metric.