A hospital’s work does not end after treating its patients. After treatment, they should talk to their patients and try to analyse if the patients are satisfied with the services it provides. 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. Patient Satisfaction Survey 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 and to translate subjective results into meaningful, quantifiable, and actionable data. These surveys 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

Benefits of patient surveys

Collecting data from Patient Satisfaction Surveys allows the hospital or clinic to:
  • Know their patients
  • Track their medical history
  • Get valuable patient feedback
  • Know how the staff treats the patients
  • Capture patient loyalty
  • Improve the services of the hospital or clinic
Owning to these benefits, 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.

Tips to build an engaging patient satisfaction survey

In order to avail these benefits, the management should build an engaging Patient Satisfaction survey. Here are some tips to build an engaging patient satisfaction survey.
  • Digital data collection

Patients are already tired after visiting a hospital, irrespective of the fact if they are in-patients or out-patients. Taking Patient Satisfaction survey digitally or online is more feasible as well as an eco-friendly alternative to excessive paper usage. The patients will also appreciate such user-friendly such user friendly services. From appointment scheduling to checking test results online via a secure portal, patients are more likely to complete a survey if it’s offered digitally.  Such surveys have multiple benefits, for both the healthcare organization and the patient.
  • Build a short and simple survey

An effective Patient Satisfaction survey should be short and simple. No patient will want to spend more than two or three minutes answering questions. Thus, the survey should be more like a pulse survey with around seven to eight questions. A satisfaction survey does not need to be overly complex.  On the contrary, it should be easy-to-understand. One such survey will encourage more participation and high-quality information.
  • A focused subject

The survey should be focused around a primary area of interest. This area can vary from patient to patient depending on what kind of services they availed. Else, not only will the patient abandon the survey, but also he/she might even start seeing the customer care in a bad light. A patient satisfaction survey should also be concise and logical to extract the required information.  If questions divert from the main topic or are ambiguous, the respondents may not always complete the survey. Even if they do, illogically set survey might irritate the patient and they might not give generous ratings.
  • Atleast one rating based question

The Patient Satisfaction survey can have a question or two based on Likert Scale. For instance, ‘On a scale of 1-10, how easy was it to get an appointment here?’ Such ratings based questions are easy to analyse and also make the survey interesting, thus making it more engaging.
  • Utilize Incentives for Survey Completion

Unlike other surveys, it is difficult to get easy participation in Patient Satisfaction survey. A reason behind this might be the fact that a patient is usually worn out or worried during or after a visit to a healthcare institution. In such a condition, it is not easy to make them answer a Patient Satisfaction survey. Everyone loves an incentive, which is why retailers offer coupons and loyalty cards. Healthcare institutes can use incentives to get participants for Patient Satisfaction surveys. Not all surveys need incentives, but if organisations are struggling for participation, it might help.
  • Privacy at convenience

Patients can give out information in an interview, a questionnaire i.e. by revealing identity or even anonymously. The person administering the survey should ensure that patients answer at their convenience. This is a healthy practice and will greatly improve their response rate. The patients can even fill these surveys anonymously. Further, they can give their suggestions in a drop box if they are even more concerned about their privacy. If revealing identity is made compulsory, it can deter many patients from giving honest opinions or filling the survey on the first place.
  • Survey logic

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 in-patient. One such tactic will keep the patients engaged in the survey as the questions will be in line with something they went through. In addition, it will also show the customer that the organisation cares for it and keeps an eye on its patients. Thus, it will also improve patient loyalty.

Posted in Analytics, Healthcare, Hospital Surveys

Tagged patient satisfaction, patient satisfaction survey