Measuring Patient Satisfaction: How to Do It and Why to Bother
Patient satisfaction surveys are a good idea — true or false? If you’re inclined to answer “false,” you might choose from any number of objections. Perhaps you’re not convinced the data is reliable. Perhaps you don’t believe the results justify the costs. Or perhaps you don’t want to be measured simply for the sake of being measured. All are legitimate concerns, but, as you’ll see, they can be overcome.
The truth about patient satisfaction surveys is that they can help you identify ways of improving your practice. Ultimately, that translates into better care and happier patients. It also shows your staff and the community that you’re interested in quality, as it demonstrates that you are looking for ways to improve.
What do I do with the results? While you don’t have to act on every suggestion that your patients give you, you should take action on the key items that are causing dissatisfaction. Remember that your goal is to improve quality, not to place blame. For example, if a concern of patients was waiting time in the office. To improve in this area, a practice can develop a “time-analysis worksheet,” which tracks patients’ visits by the minute for the time a patient arrived at the office, entered the exam room, was greeted by the doctor and so on. This information allows the physicians and staff to see how they’re spending their time and identify possible sources of delays.
If you learn that, overall your patients are happy, make sure to communicate this to your staff and colleagues, and give them the pat on the back that they deserve. Even if major changes are unnecessary, it’s nice to know that your patients have positive feelings about their experience at your office.
If you’ve decided to conduct a patient satisfaction survey but need assistance along the way, call us for assistance. We can provide your practice with a customized online survey and can handle the entire survey process start to finish, including data analysis.