Since the beginning of the 21st century, patient satisfaction surveys have attracted a lot of attention. As a result they have become an integral part of the current health care delivery system. Now, health care leaders, physicians, nurses, and other hospital personnel understand that maximizing patient satisfaction is an important aspect in bettering healthcare. Furthermore, commercial and government managed healthcare organisations have started to work towards increasing the satisfaction score. Patient Satisfaction is a performance measure to quantify the quality of health care and services delivery system. It is recognized as a reliable means to measure Patient Satisfaction. As well as to translate subjective results into meaningful, quantifiable, and actionable data. Satisfaction is a feeling that cannot be measured directly. Healthcare organisations commonly use surveys as a device to measure it.  A well-designed and implemented Patient Satisfaction Survey can collect patient feedback efficiently. It can also serve as a tool for strategic framing of health plan or for improving communication between healthcare providers/staff and patients.

What To Measure

Patient satisfaction surveys capture the medical care experience of a patient. Owing to the subjective nature of patient satisfaction, it is difficult to define what exactly should a Patient Satisfaction Survey measure. Therefore the concerned institution or organisation can decide the major domains of the survey depending on which aspect of patient satisfaction they want to measure. The survey can include responsiveness of staff, communication, technical skill, and hospital environment. As well as whether patients are satisfied on their expectations on these different touch points. These surveys can potentially ask questions to determine the patient's opinion on:
  • Cost of procedures
  • Appointment booking, procedures and waiting times
  • Access to facilities
  • Hospital, practice and GP surgery facilities
  • Communication and interaction between the patients and the staff
  • Health, hygiene and safety in and around the premises
  • Level of support for outpatients
Technical skills such as clinical competency and the quality of hospital equipment are important for treating the patients. On the other hand, communication, interpersonal skills of the whole team is also a key area of patient satisfaction. For effective treatment, it is important for the physicians and other health care workers to connect with patients on a personal level. Medical staff also play a significant role. They can set a patient at ease and help them communicate with clarity. In such conducive atmosphere, the patients are more likely to provide critical information. Similarly, they are more likely to gain compliance with treatment and care directives.

Benefits Of Patient Surveys

In the increasingly competitive healthcare industry, healthcare managers are focusing on achieving high or excellent ratings for patient satisfaction. They try to do this not just for a better score or to gain a good reputation, but to improve the quality of service delivery.  This is not only for their health care related statistics but also for the non-clinical/psychological aspects of their patient experiences. Providers want patients to feel they are being treated with dignity and that hospital personnel are making every safe and medically-advantageous effort to heal them. For these reasons, health care organizations have long sought to understand the perspectives of their patients through patient satisfaction surveys. Collecting data from Patient Satisfaction Surveys allows the concerned department to:

Know their patients

Patient Satisfaction Surveys allow medical practitioners to get an insight to the patient's lifestyle. Likewise, information from diet and exercise to personal hygiene and smoking habits. This allows them to treat their patients better.

Get valuable patient feedback

Patients give their thoughts and opinions in such surveys. These suggestions and ideas make room for brilliant changes and improvements to the healthcare practices.

Improve the concerned institution or organisation

Patients give valuable feedback and suggestions. It provides medical practitioners and staff valuable information and data on which to build improvement efforts. Similarly, they should use the feedback to improve themselves to improve the patient’s experience. Such initiatives will help demonstrate commitment to patient-centric care and improve the overall healthcare experience.

Sample Patient Satisfaction Survey Questionnaire

A satisfaction survey does not need to be overly complex.  On the contrary, an easy-to-understand survey will encourage more participation and higher-quality information.  Further, a patient satisfaction survey should also be concise and logical to extract the required information. Here is a sample Patient Satisfaction Survey questionnaire.
  1. How was your experience in XYZ Hospital?
  2. Do you think that the charges are optimal?
  3. Are you satisfied with the care provided by the team that works here?
  4. Do you think they were efficient?
  5. Were you able to communicate with them easily?
  6. Are the premises of XYZ Hospital clean and hygienic?
  7. How easily were you able to book an appointment and get treated?
  8. Did you get test results on time?
  9. Will you suggest other people to get treated here, based on your experience?
  10. Would you choose to get treated at this healthcare center again?
  11. What did you like and dislike here?
  12. Please suggest any improvements.

Administration Tips

  • The administrator should apply survey logic. This means that he or she should modify the questions according to the respondent. For instance, spare surgery related questions if the respondent was not an inpatient.
  • The person administering the survey should ensure that patients answer at their convenience. This is a healthy practice and will further improve their response rate. Even more, the patients can  fill these surveys anonymously.
After analyzing the survey and calculating the scores, the department managers can share it with the entire staff. The concerned departments should act on the results. These days, healthcare has shifted towards a market oriented approach. Due to this approach, healthcare organisations have turned patient satisfaction surveys into a quality improvement tool for the whole organisation. Therefore organisations or institutions related to healthcare should gauge patient’s satisfaction regularly. Patient Satisfaction should be at the heart of any healthcare facility. Not just for monetary reasons, but also for ethical reasons as well.  

Posted in Analytics, Healthcare, Hospital Surveys, Patient Surveys, Surveys

Tagged healthcare quality management, healthcare survey, hospital survey, patient satisfaction survey, Patient Satisfaction Surveys, patient survey, patient survey questions, questionnaire sample