FAQs About the Zitter Patient Satisfaction Survey History and Methodology


The Specialty Pharmacy Patient Choice Award was created by Zitter Health Insights and Specialty Pharmacy Times* to honor specialty pharmacies and their commitment to patients.

Q. Why did Zitter Health Insights create a specialty pharmacy patient satisfaction survey?

A. For almost three decades, Zitter Health Insights has been providing life science, specialty pharmacy and managed care organizations insights that optimize patient access to medications. The Specialty Pharmacy Patient Satisfaction Survey was created to address an unmet need for an independent and objective benchmarking study that compares patient satisfaction across US specialty pharmacies. These data are used by specialty pharmacies for contracting, accreditation, and to evaluate and improve their services. The data are also used by pharmaceutical companies to monitor patient experiences with the specialty pharmacies that dispense their brands.

Q. How was the survey methodology determined?

A. Zitter Health Insights has deep expertise designing and conducting large-scale syndicated survey research. All surveys go through months of design and testing before finalization. The specific study methodology and questions used in the Specialty Pharmacy Patient Satisfaction Survey were developed by our expert survey design team and expert statisticians in conjunction with an advisory committee. The advisory committee consists of industry thought leaders from specialty pharmacies of varying sizes, pharmaceutical manufacturers, payer organizations, external statisticians, and consulting agencies. The survey is designed to provide an accurate and statistically reliable assessment of patient experiences at the specialty pharmacies.

Some of the survey topics are listed below:

  • Level of patient involvement in selecting the specialty pharmacy they use
  • Types and frequency of patient/pharmacy interactions
  • Drivers of patient satisfaction with their specialty pharmacy
  • Satisfaction ratings and reasons for rating selection
  • Potential improvements identified by patients
  • Common operational measurements, such as financial assistance, time to ship, and disease state management

Q. What is your survey methodology?

A. Data are collected quarterly via online surveys completed by patients who obtain medications from specialty pharmacies. The majority of patients surveyed have one of the following conditions: Crohn’s Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDs, Hypercholesterolemia, Infertility, Multiple Sclerosis, Oncology, Osteoarthritis, Psoriasis, Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Severe Asthma, Transplant, or Ulcerative Colitis.

Patients are recruited to participate in the survey via two primary methods:

  • A consumer panel is used to survey patients who obtain medications from the fifteen largest specialty pharmacies whose revenues make up more than 80% of the specialty pharmacy market. Each patient undergoes a careful screening and verification process to ensure that they qualify to participate in the Specialty Pharmacy Patient Satisfaction Survey.
  • For smaller specialty pharmacies, there is not an adequate representation of patients on consumer panels. If they wish to be evaluated, they are required to provide a list of all patients served. Zitter Health Insights then surveys a random sample of patients from this master list. Smaller pharmacies that participate in the Specialty Pharmacy Patient Satisfaction Survey account for approximately 5% of all specialty pharmacy revenues.

  • Zitter Health Insights is HIPPA compliant.

The study report includes data aggregated across all patients surveyed, and also provides pharmacy-level data for any pharmacy evaluated by at least 30 patients.

Q. Why is the Net Promoter Score® (or NPS®) measure used?

A. The data from the Specialty Pharmacy Patient Satisfaction Survey have important ramifications for a variety of stakeholders. This is why so much care has been taken in survey design and implementation. The Net Promoter Score is used in this survey because it is a widely accepted measure of customer experience that is used as a core measure of customer satisfaction in a wide range of industries around the world.

Coupling the Net Promoter Score measure with the other insights about the customer journey collected in the Specialty Pharmacy Patient Satisfaction Study results in a comprehensive view of pharmacy performance.

Q. What is the Specialty Pharmacy Patient Choice Award?

A. The Specialty Pharmacy Patient Choice Award was created by Zitter Health Insights and Specialty Pharmacy Times* to honor specialty pharmacies and their commitment to patients. The criteria for the award were formulated by an external awards committee made up of individuals representing pharmaceutical manufacturers, payers, trade organizations, consultants, and equity research firms. Specialty pharmacies are eligible for either the PBM/payer-based or non-PBM/payer-based award depending on which of these categories describes the majority of a pharmacy’s patients.

Pharmacies are selected for a Patient Choice Award based on their average Net Promoter Score from all four quarterly surveys conducted each calendar year. Specialty pharmacies for which too few patients completed a survey in a calendar year to make a mean score statistically valid are excluded from consideration. Finalist and Winners are honored at the Asembia Summit for Specialty Pharmacies each year, with the first awards ceremony taking place on May 2, 2017.

*Specialty Pharmacy Times is a journal that focuses on specialty pharmaceuticals and the practice needs of pharmacists in this arena.

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