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How to Measure Patient Satisfaction Using Patient Surveys?

Measuring quality and outcome in healthcare is a challenging task. Patients, doctors, anesthetic assistants, nurses, and managers will have a different perspective on “quality.”

Are you using Patient Satisfaction Surveys to evaluate the quality of your services, or are you still a survey skeptic? Are you not convinced that Patient Satisfaction Surveys and the feedback you get from them are effective, reliable, or even useful? Do you feel like they are too time-consuming? The truth is that Patient Satisfaction Surveys are essential for every healthcare facility—regardless of your specialty.

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Importance of Patient Satisfaction Surveys

Patient Satisfaction Surveys are gaining huge importance and should be at the top priority of any healthcare facility. It's valuable to get insights about what patients think about the care and treatment they receive. These insights will lead to smart decisions on how to improve healthcare, patient happiness, and the better services offered by doctors and nurses.

Steps to Create Patient Satisfaction Surveys

Patient Satisfaction Surveys can provide you insight into exactly whether your services are doing well, and what all you can do to make it better. Asking your patients for feedback can improve the quality and make patients feel heard and understood. Research shows that patient satisfaction surveys can help in improving the overall efficiency and profitability of healthcare services.

“According to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), approximately 80% of the highest-performing medical practices use patient satisfaction surveys.”


Step 1: Identify what information you want to know

Before creating a patient satisfaction survey, it’s always better to identify potential problems in your practice. It can be related to patient wait times, accessing healthcare information at the proper time, and a lot more. It is a great opportunity to team up with staff members and share insights on how the overall service can be improved.

  • The first step is to ensure that your survey consists of relevant questions that are solvable. Asking broadly about satisfaction ("How pleased are you with our services?") doesn't provide you actionable information. Instead, try inquiring about specific components of the patient experience, like "How satisfied are you with the wait time you spend to see a doctor?"
  • The results of every survey, good or bad, should naturally offer a next step that addresses your patients' issues. You can revamp your workflow to shorten wait times or promote your patient's website.

Step 2: Create your survey

Designing a Patient Satisfaction Surveys or questionnaire consists of much more than just choosing what questions to ask. Some of the few tips to keep in mind when you design your survey:

  • Ask less than 10 questions: It’s always recommended to keep a survey as short as possible. Nobody wants to spend more than 2-3 minutes to complete a survey.
    • Focus on the key areas of interest like treatment, staff, facility, communication, etc. to streamline the survey and increase completion rates.
    • It is helpful to design the survey questions in the same flow as the patient would have experienced their visit. For example, you can ask about how the patient found out about your clinic.
  • Use ratings to improve data and analysis: A rating set could be on a scale of 1-5 where 5 denote very satisfied, and 1 denotes being not at all satisfied.
    • Using the rating method allows patients to rate their satisfaction with their experience and helps to provide consistency across patient responses.
    • It also avoids tying the ratings to emotion (i.e., happy v. unhappy). Emotions are more subjective and less accurate in assessing the clinic’s performance.
  • Include an open-ended question: These types of questions will ask people to provide answers in their own words and are designed to extract more information in a multiple-choice or other closed-ended formats.
    • Writing a good open-ended question is a tricky balancing act. It should give respondents the freedom to answer with useful information and also give them the freedom to respond as they choose.
    • A lot of crucial information can be collected through multiple choice questions or drop-down questions, in which surveyors select the answer that most closely aligns with their own from a set of options.

Step 3: Design and Launch

Once you’ve decided on the type of questions, it’s time to design and launch your survey. The right Patient Survey App will make it easy to launch well-designed surveys in less than 10 minutes. After designing your survey, choose how to distribute it. For Patient Satisfaction Surveys, you can administer them at various touch points. If you're wanting to get feedback while the patient is on premises, you can set it up on iPads or Android Tablets using a Offline Kiosk Survey App. If you want to take feedback post discharge for inpatients or post appointments, then you can send SMS or Email Surveys. Using an Online Survey Tool to put up a Feedback Form on your website is also a good idea for patients that proactively want to share feedback.

Use a Patient Survey Tool: There are plenty of great tools that you can use to reduce your efforts in creating and managing the survey.

    • With Zonka Feedback’s Patient Satisfaction Surveys, you can customize your surveys and find out what patients think about their most recent visit.
    • Get real-time patient feedback regarding the quality of your practice’s services, staff communication, and more to fine-tune your operations and increase patient satisfaction.
    • Make use of patient surveys to compare answers across numerous groups, or use the information to ensure you are on track for the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) program.

Questions to Ask in a Patient Satisfaction Survey

The best survey will consist of questions that cover the entire patient experience starting from booking an appointment to the discharge process.

10-important-patient-satisfaction-survey-questionsTop 10 questions to ask in a Patient Satisfaction Survey

  1. Would you recommend our hospital to a friend or a family member?
  2. What could we have done better?
  3. Was it easy to schedule an appointment?
  4. Were you pleased with the in-patient process?
  5. Were you seen on time?
  6. How satisfied are you with the cleanliness of our facility?
  7. How would you rate the professionalism of our staff?
  8. Did you feel comfortable talking to the doctors?
  9. Were your financial obligations explained to you?
  10. On a scale of 1-10, rate the friendliness of the care provider.

Patient Satisfaction is a fundamental part of evaluating care quality and ensuring far better patient outcomes. It has also become a major component of value-based care. Apart from the links to high-quality reporting measures, patient satisfaction surveys give you valuable data on how to enhance your practice and your patient experience.

Ready to start gathering feedback from patients and measure it, which can result in huge improvements at your organization? Zonka Feedback’s patient survey software makes it easy for you by launching a patient satisfaction survey in just a few minutes. Start gathering vital insights from patients now with a free trial.

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Written by Megha

Apr 06, 2020

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