Importance of patient satisfaction surveys, Questions to ask, and available free tools

Have you considered how your healthcare practice is judged by your patients? Are they content with the quality of care received by them? Are they happy with your service and medication? Are you able to monitor your healthcare practice performance? Does your practice provide enough attention to patient satisfaction?

If the answer to any of the above question is “no” then you have got it right! Patient satisfaction plays an important role in the way your healthcare practice is judged. It not only means the quality of care provided to the patient but also refers to how content is the patient with the care they received.

How can you achieve a WOW experience for your patients? 

Conducting patient satisfaction surveys can truly serve as a diagnostic tool for your practice and can help identify opportunities for improvement in care, reduce costs, monitor performance of health plans and provide a comparison across healthcare institutions. The goal of patient satisfaction survey is to assess your patient’s perception of the practice.

So why it is important?

  • By conducting patient satisfaction survey, first and foremost you will be letting your patients know that their opinion is very important and their feedback will help you provide quality services.
  • It will help you provide better care and also ensure that the time your patients spend with you is as pleasant as possible
  • Next, it will help you compete with other healthcare providers and set standards
  • It will help measure overall rating of hospital and responsiveness of hospital staff. It will also help provide rewards and recognition to the staff at practice who are performing well, which in turn will increase the quality of care
  • It will improve quality of communication of doctors with patients which is a key to patient satisfaction
  • Gauging patient satisfaction and using the feedback to implement or build on quality improvement initiatives will help demonstrate a commitment to patient-centered care and improve overall medical service experience.

Tips to create Patient Satisfaction Survey:

Step 1: Identify what you want to know

Before you begin creating your patient satisfaction survey, bring your team together and identify potential problem areas in your practice. Are patient wait times too long? Are patients getting enough time with the doctor? Can patients access their health information and get through to the office when they have questions or requests? This is a great opportunity to collaborate with staff members and share insights on how the practice could improve.

The goal of this first step is to make sure your survey is asking relevant questions that are solvable. Asking broadly about satisfaction (“How satisfied are you with our practice?”) doesn’t give you actionable information. Instead, try asking about specific elements of the patient experience, like “How satisfied are you with the length of time you spend waiting to see a doctor?”

Next, you must focus on whether you want to create a generalized survey or single experience survey. A generalized survey will cover all areas such as feedback on office premises, doctor’s visit and will give you a broader perspective, whereas single experience survey will only focus on the specific experience immediately after the patient visit to a doctor.

Step 2: Create your survey

Focus on common areas related to patient satisfaction

Identify common questions related to patient satisfaction, for eg. Ease of making an appointment, waiting time, physician and staff interaction etc.

Start creating the survey based on this approach and it will help you give a good foundation to your survey.

Avoid Binary questions

Avoid using ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ questions, as these don’t give you an exact result for your question. Instead, consider using multiple options such as “Extremely happy” “Neutral” “Needs Improvement” such options to help you better understand.

Keep it short and simple

Keep your survey short and simple. Too many questions and options may be lead to no response.

Step 3: Choose a platform to launch your survey

Creating Online Surveys

There are several free and paid options for hosting surveys, such as SurveyMonkey, Jotform, and Snap Surveys. Some even offer built-in promotion tools and real-time result charts. Keep in mind that online surveys may be less ideal if your patients don’t have easy access to a computer or a smartphone with internet access.

Telephonic Surveys

Since mobile phone penetration is around 81% and landline is around 53%, in the USA, phone surveys are a great way to get patients’ feedback. You can conduct them in-house with a staff member or by hiring a research firm to make the calls and run the data for you.

Email

Mail surveys may seem a little old-fashioned, but they’re estimated to be 50% – 150 % cheaper than telephonic surveys.

Office Premises

Asking patients to fill out a survey at the end of their visit is a great way to get immediate feedback. You can have staff members hand patients the survey form when they’re checking out or place the forms and a collection box in your waiting room.

Kiosk

Patient satisfaction surveys can be conducted via Kiosk that must be located in the main reception area of the hospitals and let patients provide feedback using a touchscreen.

The kiosk provides a convenient, quick and easy method for patients to give their feedback on service offered by the medical practice.

Step 4: Evaluate the results

If one uses online option to create surveys, then it easier to draw results and create charts. In case of telephonic, office or email surveys you have to manually note the results in a spreadsheet and then evaluate the results. It will help you know the areas your practice needs improvement, which in turn will result in providing better quality care to your patients.

Step 5: Make Changes

Next step is to work on the points of improvement. Plan and work on the changes suggested by your patients. Observe for few months and again conduct a survey. If the outcomes of the service offered, shows positive alignment with patients’ happiness, you are on the right track.

Questions to ask

Here is the list of potential areas that must be considered in your survey:

  • How easy was it for you to schedule an appointment with our facility?
  • How convenient was for you to reach our premises?
  • How long did you have to wait before being affected by the doctor, post schedule?
  • How satisfied are you with the cleanliness and appearance of our facility?
  • Are you satisfied with the care you received?
  • Was the staff courteous and information was clearly presented?
  • Did the practice give you a brief guided tour of your paperwork and point out relevant lab results?
  • Did the practice encourage you to teach back your lab results and your treatment details back to them?
  • Did the doctor encourage the family members to know about your problem, home remedies?
  • Were you comfortable throughout the visit?
  • What could we have done better?
  • Would you recommend the doctor to family or friend member?
  • How would you rate the overall care you received from the doctor?
  • Anything you would like to tell us about?

Available Free Tools to create Patient Satisfaction Survey

SoGo Software  –

Sogo Survey is a web-based application that makes it easy to create, distribute, analyse

beautiful multilingual surveys, forms, and assessment within no time. It allows you to start from scratch, or choose a template from survey bank.

It also provides to customize your survey appearance as per your branding. Allows you to create and store contact list and then choose right distribution methods such as unique invitations, links from the website or social media, plus helps track participation instantly and send reminders to those who haven’t replied. Its powerful reporting capability allows you to run and customize reports as per your need.

Survey Monkey –

Survey Monkey allows you to design different types of surveys such as Customer Satisfaction surveys, Employee satisfaction survey, health care surveys, nonprofit surveys. It also allows to create custom themes, add logos, select fonts and build custom thank you pages

QuickTab Survey

QuickTab Survey allows you to create, test, and publish your survey. Also allows you to collect and view responses.

Typeform Survey

It is an online survey creator that is fast, free and fully customizable. It helps you conduct research, boost your brand and know your audience.

Survio.com

It’s a powerful free survey tool that helps you create online health survey. You can choose from 100+ templates and 70+ designs. Helps you create surveys that are easily adapted to any mobile device, allows you to view your result in real time.

Provides automatically generated, easily understandable PDF reports in just one click.

Also allows results to be downloaded as raw data in XLS, CSV, XML and HTML file formats.

JotForm Survey

SnapSurvey

 

You will like to read this- The Value of Patient Experience, why it is important for your practice