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Leading health systems see significant increases in NPS after adopting NRC Health’s Human Understanding Metric

Results to be shared in live webcast

LINCOLN, Neb.–()–Two leading health systems are seeing significant increases in patient loyalty as they implement a system-wide strategy centered around NRC Health’s mission of Human Understanding. A newly released case study highlights these impressive results and NRC Health’s Human Understanding Metric (HUme)SM as a driving force. The HUme measures the extent to which people feel that everyone treated them as a unique individual throughout their experience and is a leading driver of Net Promoter Scores (NPS). And the data show the odds of a patient being a promoter are 12x higher when they feel everyone treated them as unique.

Gundersen Health System, a non-profit health system based in Wisconsin, and M Health Fairview, a healthcare system located in Minnesota, implemented the HUme into their patient experience surveys–and began developing HUme-centered organization-wide strategies–within the last year and have seen significant increases in NPS.

M Health Fairview implemented HUme in December 2022 and saw their NPS increase 4 percentage points – the largest growth so far among all of NRC Health’s partners using the measure. After implementing HUme in January 2023, Gundersen Health System’s score increased by 3 percentage points. Both organizations recognize the importance of human-centered care and understand it’s about more than adding a question to a survey. The organizations have implemented strategic process improvements across their systems to elevate compassion as the heartbeat of their culture.

Gundersen Health System delivers primary and specialized healthcare in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa and has long been engaged with NRC Health to improve service excellence, patient experience, and Human Understanding. In the last year, patient experience leaders worked across the organization to build awareness of the power of human connection.

“I think so much of the care we give is special,” said Shannon Hulett, DNP, RN, CNL, Director of Gundersen Patient Experience. “What’s really important is listening to a patient’s story—whether it comes out in their comments or other ways—and being honest with ourselves when we have improvements to make.”

M Health Fairview, an academic health system, represents the collaboration between the University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Physicians, and Fairview Health Services. In 2022, M Health Fairview began updating its patient experience service standards: a set of ideal behaviors that support the key elements of an interaction from the perspective of patients and their families.

“For us, it was intentional to add the Human Understanding Metric, because it helps us directly measure how we’re living up to our service standards,” said Casey Arends, M Health Fairview Customer Experience Manager. “All the supporting skills and all the behaviors behind those standards directly align with Human Understanding. It is compelling and easy to add, because it connects peoples’ passion and purpose for working in healthcare, not some tactic or checkbox item on an encounter.”

NRC Health’s end-to-end Human Understanding program delivers holistic, innovative, and leading-edge solutions, programs, strategic insights, and metrics to better support patients and care teams alike. Unique in healthcare, the Human Understanding program helps health systems better understand their patients, care teams, consumers, and the broader communities they serve.

“The Human Understanding Metric (HUme) correlates very strongly with loyalty metrics such as Net Promoter Score,” said Jon Tanner, NRC Health’s Human Understanding Program Director. “It really just confirms the obvious idea that treating people the way they want to be treated will improve the patient’s experience and keep them loyal to your system.”

Gundersen Health System’s Shannon Hulett, M Heath Fairview’s Casey Arends, and NRC Health’s Jon Tanner are diving into the strategies behind the success on a Becker’s Healthcare podcast and an upcoming NRC Health webcast. Register today to learn more.

About NRC Health

NRC Health is ranked #1 for Patient Experience Improvement in the 2023 Best in KLAS report.

For more than 40 years, NRC Health (NASDAQ: NRC) has led the charge to personalize healthcare and support organizations in their understanding of each unique individual. NRC Health’s commitment to Human Understanding® helps leading healthcare systems get to know each person they serve not as point-in-time insights, but as an ongoing relationship. Guided by its uniquely empathic heritage, NRC Health’s patient-focused approach, unmatched market research, and emphasis on consumer preferences are transforming the healthcare experience, creating strong outcomes for patients and entire healthcare systems. For more information, email, or visit

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