The value of any measure lies in feedback to stakeholders, including service users, clinicians, managers and payers. The results are easy to interpret, responsive to difference between patients, staff, carers and units and over time, and comparable for management and commissioning.

Rapid feedback to clinicians and managers provides scores for each dimension and overall summaries, with average figures for each unit or cohort presented using common 0-100 scale.

Other charts show standardised frequency distributions with RAG (red-amber green) flags and funnel plots showing those above or below average, as well as response number.

On a funnel plot each marker represents a different location or group. The blue horizontal line shows the average score for all respondents. Those markers lying above the green line have scores significantly better than average at the 95% confidence limit. This means that there is a 19 out of 20 chance that they really are above average. Similarly, those below the red line are significantly below average.

Each response level is indicated in supporting ways using written labels, colour-coded (green, yellow, orange and red), increasing in severity from left to right, with pictographs based on smiley faces. The images are optional (for example, these measures have been used with great success in telephone voice-based systems).

The combination of four items with four levels each creates a 4×4 matrix with 256 combinations.  For analysis and reporting for a single person, each response level for each item is allocated a score on a 0-3 scale, where the higher being better.

A summary score for a single person is calculated by adding the scores for each item, giving a 13-point scale with a range from 0  to 12. Changing an item from one level to the next always has the same impact on the score.

When reporting results for a group or population, the mean score is transformed to a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 indicates that all respondents chose best score and 0 that all chose the worst.  Single item scores may be compared with summary scores on a common scale.


Benson T, Potts HWW. A short generic patient experience questionnaire: howRwe development and validation. BMC Health Services Research 2014, 14:499 PDF