Have you been taking advantage of all the capabilities of patient satisfaction surveys? Have you not found the right survey for your practice? Are you having trouble getting responses or tabulating the results? We all know that patient surveys are important to hearing healthcare office, but sometimes they can be frustrating. Some of those frustrations may be legitimate, but there are ways of avoiding those with PatientPoll™.
Of course there is value in polling your patients. At the very least, it shows them that their opinion matters to you, and you could get some key insights from those opinions. It shows that your invested in the quality of your care and the impression you leave on all of your patients. And it demonstrates that you are looking for ways to improve your practice and your patient’s experience.
In order to keep your patients coming back and ensure new ones are satisfied when they leave, it is critical to ensure your patients feel appreciated and heard. Patient satisfaction surveys is the best to way to accomplish all of that quickly and reliably. And PatientPoll™ makes it even easier!
If you are still using mail-in or email surveys, you are likely only getting a glimpse at how your patients truly feel as only a small fraction of your patient-base is completing and returning these surveys. With PatientPoll’s tablet-based surveys, you can hand them to patients while they are in your office ensuring more accurate answers and a 100% response rate.
Ways to Utilize Survey Results
- Plan improvement projects
- Set goals for your practice quarterly, yearly, etc. in order to continue taking your service to a new level
- Recognize the superstars in your office who always guarantee that things run efficiently and smoothly
- Benchmark success by comparing surveys from the next quarter/year/etc.
- Show patients that you continue to care about their opinions
Obviously you will want to take your patients’ feedback and make improvements right away, but don’t forget to celebrate the areas that you are already doing great in. Make sure you also celebrate the ways your team members go above and beyond the call of duty. And acknowledge what patients say they are already loving and appreciating.
Asking the Right Questions
While the concept of surveying is simple, asking the right questions is more of an art form. These questions need to be well thought out, direct, and easy to understand, while getting to the heart of a topic you want to know more about. Healthcare surveys are typically geared toward questions about:
- Quality of care
- Access to care and communication
- Patient satisfaction–including relationships with staff and provider
- Program interest and participation
Most questions used in a patient satisfaction survey should be answered using a scale. Popular options here include 10-point scales, five point scales ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”, and four-point scales.
Regardless of what titles you scales have, the most important thing is to be consistent. You don’t want to use a four-point scale on some questions and a five-point scale on others because then you can’t compare the results. It can be confusing for you patients to fill out and it may be more challenging for you to compare and analyze the survey results.
When choosing word questions, be careful in your phrasing and answer options. If your questions aren’t chosen carefully, your survey can be more confusing than informative.
The most successful surveys tend to be short. Research shoes that surveys that take less than 5 minutes to complete are completed more often and have more accurate answers. This means your questions need to be quick and easy to understand. Be specific in order to know exactly what’s required to bring your practice to the next level in order to keep your patients coming back.
If you find that formulating your own questions daunting, no need to worry. PatientPoll™ offers a large library of pre-written questions that you can use to get your started or to mix in with the few questions you have already written.
Some examples of well written questions include:
- How satisfied are you with the level of care you are receiving by our providers and staff?
- How attentive, caring and understanding do you feel our staff and physicians are?
- How soon are you able to be seen when you call to schedule an appointment?
- What is your preferred avenue for requesting an appointment? (i.e. Call in, email or text, social media, portal, etc)
- Are you aware of our Continuing Care Campaigns? If so, which one(s) are you currently enrolled in? How helpful do you find them?
- How helpful do you find our recare messaging for ensuring you return for your regular care appointments?
- How well do you feel the doctor listens to your health concerns?
- How thorough do you feel his/her explanations and instructions for care are?
- How well do you feel the doctor takes time to answer your questions?
- How satisfied are you with the amount of time the doctors spend with you?
- How satisfied are you with our level of patient communication? ( i.e timely returned calls, reminder messages, practice newsletters)
- Overall, how would you rate your most recent experience in our office?
Feel free to add in a few open ended questions. Of course the scale or multiple choice questions are easier to tabulate at the end of the day, but it is invaluable to hear exactly what you patients have to say in their own words.
Some examples of open-ended questions that demonstrate how much you care about your patients’ opinions include:
- What do you like best about our practice?
- What are we doing especially well?
- What can we do to improve?
Fully Leveraging Your PatientPoll™ Surveys
There are ways to use patient satisfaction surveys for more than just answers. Here are 3 simple tricks to maximize the impact of patient satisfaction surveys for physician offices and bring your practice to new heights:
- Improve your online presence – Sometime patients will reposed positively to your survey but your survey may not have contains a rating question. You can reach out to that patient and ask if they would be willing to rate your practice on Facebook or Yelp or Google. Studies show that more than 70% of consumers will leave a review if asked. So don’t be afraid to ask for what you want from your patients.
- Acquire new patient referrals – The same goes for referrals. Don’t be afraid to ask your patients to refer you to their friends and family. Consider even adding and incentive for this kind of behavior. Relying on them to proactively spread the word about how great or family-friendly your practice is doesn’t often prove an adequate means of generating referrals.
- Build patient relationships – By now you understand how powerful surveys can be when it comes to finding out ways to improve your office, but they are also a great way to know you patients on a more personal level. By engaging your patients through surveys, you will be better able to assess a patient’s confidence in themselves to be proactive about their health and accomplish their personal goals.
If you ask the right questions, you can find out what their short and long term health goals are and discuss ways you can assist them in accomplishing these goals. By utilizing PatientPoll™ to open up the lines of communication, you will build greater trust and patient loyalty.