Crafting an Effective Patient Satisfaction Survey 

A recent study conducted by the Medical Group Management Association found that one thing high-performing practices had in common was that they regularly conducted patient satisfaction surveys.

Patient satisfaction surveys are important and useful because they offer details about the patient’s experience and insights about their feelings toward their practice and the care they received. This helps medical practices improve the care they deliver and rethink strategies or services that aren’t meeting their patients’ needs.

There is, however, a catch. A good patient satisfaction survey isn’t as simple as asking your patients for feedback. Your surveys must be more specific and touch on several areas to gather the kind of information that will help you improve the performance of your practice. They should also adhere to a few general guidelines. To help your practice develop the most effective patient satisfaction surveys, we’ve included some guidelines below. By following our advice, you should be able to create a powerful survey which will help you gather information and create powerful results.

  1. Know how you plan to use the results.
    What are your goals for the survey? If you know ahead of time how you plan to use your results, it will be easier to keep your questions focused. If you have certain areas you already know need improvement, focus on getting feedback about those first. If you’re hoping to gauge how a new physician is doing, ask questions about your medical staff. If you want to learn how effective your marketing and website are, request that your patients rate these resources. You can’t ask everything, so figuring out your priorities ahead of time will help you make the most of the time you have.
  2. Distribute your survey on multiple channels.
    The hardest part of getting good information back on your surveys is getting people to take the survey in the first place. While some patients love to share their opinions, most people are busy and sparing even five minutes to take your survey may be too much. Therefore, it’s important to offer your patients options. First, give your patients a hard copy of the survey at the time of their appointment. Follow this up with an emailed version. Finally, send the survey in the mail. You can also keep the survey on a tablet in the office and let people fill it out online while they wait to checkout or are receiving an infusion. While this may seem arduous, it will guarantee a higher rate of return.
  3. Let your patients know you’ve heard their concerns.
    Your patients took the time to offer their valuable feedback. You took the time to read through and analyze the results. Now, take an extra step and let your patients know how you will incorporate their feedback into changes they’ll be able to see. You can do this by displaying some of the feedback you received on a bulletin board in your practice, along with notes about what you’ve done to change or fix the issue. You can also hang up any compliments or positive feedback you received—people like to see good news, too! Don’t forget to reach out to individual patients privately to discuss any problems they had, and to ask them for more information if you need to fill in the blanks. In most cases, they’ll be thrilled to know you took their feedback to heart and did your best to improve what you do and how you do it.

We hope these guidelines help you make the most of your patient satisfaction survey! Want to give us feedback on this post? Head over to Facebook and let us know what you think. We promise to listen!

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