As modern healthcare continues to move toward a more digital experience in hopes of enabling easier, convenient access and care for patients, digital patient satisfaction surveys are an increasingly popular way for healthcare organizations to measure a variety of things, including:
- Access to care
- Quality of care
- Patient satisfaction
- Medication adherence
- Gaps in care
- Remote monitoring surveys
- Health risk assessments
Providers and practices understand the importance of patient satisfaction surveys in collecting and responding to patient feedback that informs them of what is and isn’t working well at their practice. This valuable feedback helps providers and practices to make business decisions that impact the experience of their patient, continuously working to improve how care is delivered with the patient at the center.
Traditional pen and paper surveys just aren’t cutting it anymore, as delivery is often delayed, resulting in lapsed feedback. In contrast, digital patient surveys have a variety of advantages that benefit patients and providers alike.
Real-time feedback: Digital patient satisfaction surveys in health care are often automatically scheduled to be sent to the patient as soon as they leave your office. For many, a quick survey on their mobile phone allows them to provide feedback in less than a minute while their experience is still fresh. In contrast, paper patient satisfaction surveys take much longer, as practices send them via mail. Delayed snail mail surveys can also skew feedback, as patients may not remember every detail of their experience.
High response rate: Digital patient satisfaction surveys can be sent via text directly to your patients’ cell phones, allowing them to complete them right at the point of care or whenever is convenient for them. Practices that mail patient satisfaction surveys often find that fewer patients are less motivated to respond to surveys when they have to take extra time and steps to complete and return them via mail. Even if you opt to give patients a paper satisfaction survey immediately following their appointment, patients are less likely to fill it out because most times, patients are trying to get out the door quickly. Whether they’re heading to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription or heading back to work, they’re ready to leave when the appointment is over.
Improvement Efficiencies: Patient feedback is important for fostering a culture of continuous improvement at your practice. When you use digital patient satisfaction surveys in health care, you can understand the motivations patients have behind their positive and negative reviews. Technology allows you to easily analyze patient responses for keywords to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your practice. This allows you to make more informed business decisions that can enhance the quality of care and patient experience, which will lead to more satisfied patients in the long run.
Customization: In contrast, paper CG CAHPS patient surveys that are delivered via mail are often standardized for all recipients. However, digital patient satisfaction surveys allow providers and practices to write their own questions or prompts to collect feedback most relevant to their practice. These questions can be modified in real-time to capture feedback for business priorities as they change or once the healthcare practice feels like they’ve captured enough substantial feedback from patients on that particular topic. For that reason, digital patient satisfaction surveys make a great complement to mandated paper CAHPS and HCAPS surveys.
When creating digital patient surveys, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:
- Stick to less than 10 questions
- Target a 10-20% response rate
- Prioritize improvements that impact the patient experience directly
- Communicate changes to patients
- Only ask questions related to things you are willing to change or improve
Reputation Management: Some digital patient surveys in health care use the 0-10 Net Promoter Scale® or another quantitative measurement to get a pulse on their patient’s satisfaction. Patients who respond with a predetermined high experience score, such as a 9 or 10, can automatically receive links to social media review sites where they can share their positive experience with the public. This can boost online ratings and reviews, which can help you to attract new patients who are seeking a provider. It also shares helpful information patients can use to make decisions about their care.
Service Recovery: In contrast, patient feedback of a lower score as established by your practice, such as a 4 or a 5, can be automatically routed to someone on your management team for immediate follow-up. Real-time feedback ensures your team can address the patient’s negative experience and provide a resolution before a potential conflict escalates and appears online.
Digital patient surveys allow patients to provide feedback on their own time in a way that’s convenient for them. Popular questions that you may want to include might be:
- Would you recommend our practice to a family member or friend?
- What could we have done better?
- What else would you like to tell us about?
Leaving them with open-ended questions gives your patients the opportunity to share feedback related to topics you may not have considered. This can provide a deeper level of feedback than what could be collected with a numerical scale or yes or no question.
It’s also important to ask scaled questions ranging from ”strongly agree to “strongly disagree” so you can quickly analyze results and trends, and then use that data to make business decisions that impact the patient experience.
In summation, providers recognize the efficiency and value of digital patient surveys adds to their feedback collection process. Using technology to collect patient feedback in real-time allows providers and practices to more effectively gather a higher volume of patient feedback, which can help to improve the patient experience, drive positive online reputations, and strengthen patient relationships for years to come.
To learn more about how technology can help your practice improve patient satisfaction and feedback collection, contact us today.