Over the years, patients have had to increasingly bear medical expenses from their own pockets. The result is that more and more patients are getting actively involved in the healthcare they receive and their expectations have risen to the next level. Therefore, patient satisfaction has gained more importance than ever and dissatisfied patients are more than happy to leave a healthcare provider for better health services and satisfaction.
Patient feedback is essential to know how your patients feel about their experience with your healthcare services. It is a great way to assess how well you and your healthcare staff are able to satisfy your patients with good treatment and health services, identify the issues your patients may face while getting treatment, and improve their overall experience.
In this article, we will explore how patient feedback is important for healthcare providers, how you can collect it, and how patient surveys and patient feedback apps can help you measure and improve patient satisfaction and ultimately grow your business. Let's get started!
Patient feedback is the information about the patients' perceptions and opinions about their experiences of treatment and care with a healthcare facility.
Patient Feedback is important for healthcare providers to improve the quality of their health services, to identify patients' issues, and to enhance patient loyalty, satisfaction, and their overall experience with the hospital or clinic.
Surveys are used in healthcare to collect feedback from patients, assess their health condition, track the progress in their recovery, track the healthcare staff's performances, and identify & resolve patients' issues on time.
Healthcare providers must take action on feedback by responding to every feedback and closing the feedback loop.
Zonka Feedback is an effective patient feedback software with which you can create powerful patient feedback surveys to collect feedback and take action to improve patient experience. It also offers a free trial for 7 days.
Measure Patient Feedback and Satisfaction👩⚕️
Create your healthcare surveys and questionnaires to collect feedback from patients in real time.
What is Patient Feedback?
Patient feedback is the information of patients’ opinions, evaluations, and perceptions about their experiences with a hospital, clinic, or any healthcare centre. It can be about any aspect or particular service given by the healthcare providers or about the overall treatment, or stay in the hospital. Patient feedback can be patients’ opinions about:
Appointment booking process
Interactions with the doctors
Interactions with other medical staff
Cleanliness of the healthcare facility
Medical care facilities at the hospital
Diagnosis of the doctor
Overall treatment and medication provided to the patient
Billing processes and charges of the medical services
Pharmacy and availability of medicines
Food at the hospital cafeteria
Patient feedback serves as a valuable component when it comes to improving the overall healthcare quality.
Importance of Patient Feedback
Patient Feedback can help you know the feelings of the patients. Instead of your patients simply walking away, their feedback allows you to fix the issues they faced and improve their experiences. However, the importance of feedback goes much further.
Here’s a look at some of the reasons for it to be essential for healthcare providers.
1. To improve the quality of care
Patient feedback is a useful tool that fosters quality improvement of care provided at your hospital or healthcare centre. When you collect feedback about various aspects of your healthcare facility at different touchpoints, you are able to identify issues and concerns your patients may have with the quality of care provided.
By identifying these issues, you can work in the right direction to resolve them and make the much-needed improvements to avoid any similar concerns in the future.
2. To improve the overall patient experience and satisfaction
Feedback helps you measure patients’ satisfaction with your healthcare services. When you collect patients’ insights and utilize that feedback for patients to provide better medical care and treatment, it drastically improves patients' overall experiences and raises their satisfaction levels.
3. To increase patient loyalty
Asking for feedback from patients conveys that you care about their opinions and want to ensure good care for them. This itself poses a good impression of your healthcare brand and increases patient engagement. When you take action on that feedback and start delivering better experiences for the patients, it boosts their loyalty.
Great patient experience urges them to always consult your healthcare organization & doctors whenever they need medical treatment or healthcare.
4. To attract new patients
Loyal patients not only choose your healthcare brand over others but also tend to recommend it to other people in their known. Studies suggest that around 50% of the patients rely on personal recommendations from friends and family. Personal recommendations attract new patients into your healthcare business, which ultimately contributes to the growth of your business.
5. To build a good image in the industry
Bad patient experiences are often spread in the form of negative feedback reviews and word of mouth in the industry. Studies suggest that more than 70% of patients check online reviews before consulting a new doctor. So it is necessary to ensure that you have a good image in the industry and feedback helps you do that.
The best way to collect patient feedback is through surveys. But there are more reasons to survey your patients. Let’s explore them.
Why are Surveys Used in Healthcare?
Surveys are a great way to connect with your patients and fetch the necessary information that you need to be able to provide them with better treatment and care. Here are some common reasons to use patient surveys in the healthcare industry.
- To better assess the health condition of the patients: Patient surveys provide valuable insights into patients' health conditions. By asking healthcare assessment questions, healthcare providers can gather information about patients' eating habits, allergies, chronic health problems, and genetic issues. This information helps in diagnosing diseases and providing the most suitable treatment.
- To track the progress of the patient’s recovery: Patient surveys can also be used while the treatment is going, in order to track the progress in the patient’s health and recovery. This helps the doctors to know how the patient's body is responding to a certain treatment. This information enables them to decide the further course of medication and treatment.
- To collect patient insights and emotions about the care they receive: Patient feedback surveys help you gather patients’ insights regarding how they feel about the treatment, care, and healthcare facilities provided at the hospital or clinic. This crucial information helps you know how well your healthcare facility is able to provide comfortable and satisfying treatment and care to the patients. Feedback helps you in the quality improvement of your healthcare.
- To track the performance of the healthcare staff: Patient surveys are used to track the performance of medical staff, allowing patients to rate their interactions with doctors, nurses, receptionists, and other staff. These ratings identify staff delivering good performance and those needing further training and improvement.
- To identify any issues that patients may face during the treatment: Patient surveys help identify issues like appointment difficulties, long wait times, rude staff, delayed medical reports, and cleanliness problems. You can take instant action on these issues to improve patient satisfaction and overall experience.
Let’s explore the ways to collect patients' feedback.
How to Collect Patient Feedback?
There are numerous channels available, both online and offline, that you can utilize to collect valuable feedback from your patients. By utilizing a combination of these channels, you can ensure that you are reaching a wide range of patients and gathering comprehensive feedback.
Here are some of the key channels through which you can capture patient feedback:
- Android and iOS Surveys: With the help of good patient feedback software, you can use Android and iOS survey devices like tablets and smartphones to capture offline feedback from your patients at your premises. You can simply approach the patients or their family members and request them to share feedback, handing over the device to them for some time to collect their survey responses.
- Kiosk Surveys: You can also set up unattended kiosk devices at your hospital or clinic at certain locations like reception, waiting area, pharmacy and cafeteria to collect feedback at various touchpoints. The patients or their family members can simply approach the kiosk, take the survey, and submit their responses without any supervision required.
- Website or in-product surveys: If you have an official website or app where your patients can book appointments, and look for doctors, their timings, and other information, you can utilize it to collect feedback. You can use surveys through feedback widgets like popup surveys, slide up surveys, and feedback buttons for this purpose.
- Email surveys: Email surveys are also a good way to ask for feedback from patients. You can send email surveys as:
Embedded email surveys (emails with the first question of the survey displayed in the email body)
Email surveys with hyperlinks (link to open the survey)
Email signature surveys (where a survey is embedded in the signature of regular emails
- SMS surveys: You can also send SMS surveys in which a survey invitation text message is sent to the patients followed by a link to the survey. The patients can easily go to the link, take the survey, and submit their responses.
Let’s learn how you can take action on patient feedback to improve patient satisfaction and improve the overall experience.
Taking Action on Patient Feedback
The purpose of obtaining patient feedback is to improve patient experience which is impossible without taking action on feedback. So you must develop and work on the entire patient feedback system to not only collect and analyze patient experience feedback but also take action on it. Here are some steps you should take to leverage feedback to improve patient experience and ultimately grow your business.
1. Gather and analyze patient feedback data
The first step is to gather and analyze feedback data through data collection forms and identify the issues your patients may be facing at various touchpoints of their patient journeys.
- Collect patient feedback from your inpatients and outpatients through various channels.
- Bring the collected feedback data to a centralized platform.
- Analyze it to find your strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement in your healthcare services.
2. Respond to every feedback
Always respond to every feedback from the patients. You can also set up automatic responses thanking the patients for feedback and ensuring actions (if required) on it, which are sent at the moment a patient provides feedback. But only these automatic replies will not work. You have to win the trust of the patients and assure them that their health is a priority for you and you are committed to providing great care and treatment to them.
Have a dedicated team to work on the feedback and to close the feedback loop which can understand patients' experience and its effect on their health and can respond to the patients accordingly.
Thank the patients who give positive feedback for appreciating your efforts to provide quality care.
Thank the patients with neutral feedback for responding to the survey and ask them what you can do to provide better quality care to the patients.
Apologize to the patients who share negative feedback for their bad experience and ask them what made them unhappy with the treatment and care they received.
3. Automate creating tickets as per patients' feedback and present situation
With the help of an effective patient feedback system, you can automate the process of taking action on the feedback of the patients.
- Have dedicated teams of medical staff to take instant action on the feedback.
- Engage your doctors and other medical staff to decide what can be done in particular cases to improve patient experience and health conditions.
4. Take instant action wherever required
Engage with your doctors, nurses, and other healthcare staff and encourage them to take instant action on the feedback wherever required.
- Offer resolutions to the patients which can improve their experience or make things better for them. For instance, if somebody gets the wrong treatment or wrong diagnosis, engage with the doctors to check what can be done to reduce the bad effects on the patient's health.
- Try to compensate for a bad experience by offering a token of apology like a free health checkup, discounts on medicines, or a free health supplement.
- If you find negative reviews on online review platforms or social media, try connecting with the patients privately to listen to their voices and offer healthcare solutions to their issues and concerns.
5. Inform the Patients about the actions taken
When you have taken the required action or changes in your healthcare services as per patients' feedback, do inform them personally. This conveys that you take their feedback seriously and are keen to provide them with quality care and the best treatment. This induces loyalty in them towards your healthcare organization.
6. Leverage feedback data and reports to learn about new medical opportunities
Use analytics and feedback reports to carefully observe feedback trends, and recurring patient issues. Make decisions and changes to avoid any such issues in the future. You can also discover new opportunities from the patient feedback data.
For instance, if a particular test is not available in your hospital and many of your patients have to visit other labs for that test, you can make decisions to bring the necessary medical equipment and staff to start that medical test in your hospital or healthcare centre.
Create and Send Patient Feedback Surveys with Zonka Feedback
Zonka Feedback is one of the best patient feedback software and app that you can use to create and send patient feedback surveys. You can easily create surveys in minutes and use various channels to share them with your patients. Here are the steps to do so:
Sign up for Zonka Feedback account and go to the survey builder where you can choose a patient feedback survey from a variety of survey templates available to create a new feedback survey. These are customizable templates wherein you can modify the questions as per your survey needs.
Choose among 30+ question types available to include in your questions and select the theme and design as per your choice. You can add survey logic, company branding, and language of your choice.
Use survey variables to pass additional data or information about the patients that you already have. This will make your respondents’ task easier by automatically filling in the details like name, age, and other information that you already have.
Send your surveys to the patients. You can choose among various channels to distribute your surveys - in-app, website, email, SMS, kiosk, iOS and Android devices.
Use Zonka Feedback reporting and analytics to analyze the patient feedback data received through reports like trends reports, location insights reports, team performance reports, and more.
Let's review some templates that can help you in collecting feedback from your patients.
Some Examples of Patient Feedback Surveys That You Can Use
Here are some examples of patient feedback surveys that you can use to collect feedback from your inpatients and outpatients.
1. Sample Survey to Gather Inpatient Feedback
Inpatients are individuals who are admitted to a hospital and stay overnight or for an extended period for medical treatment and care.
You can use the inpatient feedback template below to create patient feedback surveys for inpatients.
2. Sample Survey to Gather Outpatient Feedback
Outpatients are individuals who receive medical treatment or care at a healthcare facility such as a hospital or clinic without staying overnight. They visit for appointments, consultations, medication or treatment; and return home the same day.
You can use the outpatient feedback template below to create patient feedback surveys for outpatients.
3. Sample Survey to Gather Doctor Feedback
Doctors or physicians are the core of your healthcare facility and patients' interactions with the doctors can make or break patient experiences.
Here is a doctor feedback template that you can use to collect feedback about your doctors and know how well they are able to diagnose and treat patients.
It is essential to provide your patients with satisfying experiences to make your healthcare business successful. Patient Feedback is the way to understand how your patients perceive their experience with your hospital, clinic, or healthcare centre, and how satisfied they are with those experiences.
With the help of good patient feedback software, you can easily create patient surveys and share them with your patients through multiple channels to collect feedback, measure satisfaction, and improve the overall experiences of the patients.
Zonka Feedback is one tool that not only helps you in obtaining patient feedback but with its features like real-time alerts and notifications, notifies you with every feedback or negative feedback (as per criteria you set). This enables you to take instant action on real-time patient feedback and close the feedback loop effectively to improve patient experience and enhance satisfaction.
It also offers a free trial. You can try Zonka Feedback for free for 7 days and see how it works for your healthcare business.