Are you struggling to get accurate patient feedback? Could you benefit from an easy, effective method for measuring patient satisfaction scores? In this post, we’ll unpack what it takes to create patient satisfaction surveys that are easy to implement and full of insights.
Why Is the Patient Satisfaction Survey So Important?
You’re no doubt well aware of the role patient satisfaction plays in healthcare today. Often viewed as an important indicator for measuring the quality of healthcare, patient satisfaction scores can have an impact on everything from volume to reimbursements.
While many practices may think of them as a method for keeping patients happy, the advantages of satisfaction surveys go much deeper. They can clue you in to important issues that, once addressed, lead to a bevy of benefits that tend to accompany higher patient scores. For example, providers with high numbers of satisfied patients are likely to have:
- Higher patient volumes. People are more likely to recommend a practice or hospital to family and friends when they have positive experiences.
- Better outcomes. Satisfied patients are far more likely to adhere to treatment plans and maintain relationships with healthcare providers.
- Greater profit margins. High patient scores have been shown to boost net margins by as much as 50%.
In other words…
It pays (literally) to have a system in place for continually improving patient satisfaction. But you can’t improve what you don’t measure. And that’s where the patient satisfaction survey comes in.
A More Accurate Way to Measure Patient Satisfaction
By now, you may be thinking: Our patients are already frustrated by the amount of forms they have to fill out. Are you really suggesting we ask them to share feedback, too?
Well, yes. But perhaps not in the cumbersome way you may be envisioning.
Fact is, many of the methods being used to measure and collect patient feedback are flawed.
To see what I mean, just consider this recent study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. When analyzing patient experience data across 42 facilities and 242 physicians, researchers discovered all kinds of issues impacting validity. Wild fluctuations in response rates and physician scores—the same doctor might rank in the 30th percentile one month, and then jump to the 80th percentile the next—made it incredibly difficult to get the full story on existing provider-patient relationships.
As the study’s lead author put it: “Imagine you conduct a survey, and only the very happy and very unhappy return their surveys. What you get is a very biased sample. That makes it very difficult to come to any meaningful conclusions from the data.”
Thankfully, there is a better way.
How to Create a Patient Satisfaction Survey That Actually Works
Effective patient satisfaction surveys aren’t nearly as complex or time-consuming as you may have been led to believe. Typically, the ones that work well are simple and straightforward.
When creating your surveys, there are three key elements to keep in mind:
- Keep it simple. As we’ve mentioned before, the most engaging patient surveys are short. They should stick to a maximum of 10 questions; a list of 7-8 questions tends to work best.
- Make it timely. The sooner your patients are invited to provide feedback, the more reliable their responses will be. Ideally, they should be given the opportunity to take your survey immediately following a visit and before they leave the facility.
- Focus on convenience. If you want to benefit from insightful, helpful feedback (or any feedback at all, for that matter), your survey needs to be incredibly accessible and easy to fill out.
So…how can you achieve all three of these essential elements? Many healthcare facilities are turning to the patient feedback kiosk. By situating a tablet stand in an area where patients have easy access—such as the waiting room or checkout desk—you can make patient satisfaction surveys a seamless part of each visit. Patients simply follow a few prompts and answer a few questions, and within a matter of minutes you get feedback you can use to address real-time issues.
Looking for more details you can use to transform your patient satisfaction surveys? Our patient feedback kiosk guide provides a step-by-step plan you can follow to get started right away.