3 Ways to Use Patient Surveys
Have you been using automated surveys to evaluate your patient satisfaction, or are you still a survey skeptic? Are you not yet convinced that patient surveys and the feedback you get from them are effective, reliable, or even useful? Do you feel like they are too time-consuming to be worth the hassle?
Some concerns about surveys may be legitimate, but there are tricks that will make patient surveys as simple as they are valuable.
It goes without saying that asking someone for their opinion shows, at the very least, that you care about what they think. Reaching out to your patients to get feedback on their experience in your office shows them–and the community–that you’re interested in quality-of-care as well as your patients as individuals. It also demonstrates that you are continually looking for ways to improve your practice and the patient experience you provide.
In order to retain your patients and consistently acquire new ones, it is critical to make sure your patients feel appreciated and satisfied. The best way to ensure the highest level of patient satisfaction is to ask questions.
You likely understand that the feedback you get from surveys is just a glimpse at how your patients feel about you and your staff. What you do with that feedback is what will have the biggest impact on your practice. Use the feedback to:
- Plan improvement projects
- Set goals for your practice quarterly, yearly, etc. in order to continue taking your service to a new level and ensure maximum productivity and profitability
- Recognize the superstars in your office who always guarantee that things run efficiently and smoothly
- Benchmark success by comparing surveys from the next quarter/year/etc.
Although your goals and improvements stem from the ways your practice can stand to improve, don’t forget to celebrate success along the way! While your improvement projects will focus on areas of weakness, make sure you also celebrate the ways your team members go above and beyond the call of duty. Perhaps you could incorporate special staff recognition awards, or even highlight your small but significant successes in your quarterly newsletter for your patients to see and acknowledge.
Here are 3 simple tricks to maximize the effectiveness of your patient surveys and bring your practice to new heights:
1. Improve your online presence
When your patients provide positive feedback through your surveys, but don’t end up leaving a review in the space provided, reach out personally and ask them if they would be willing to share their great experience online.
Seeing satisfaction can prove to be much more effective than reading it. When sending surveys through Solutionreach, the platform will automatically let you know which patients have taken surveys. You can then send out an email with a link asking them to record a video testimonial. When looking at the dashboard at the patients to be seen that day, it will also indicate if they have taken a survey and you may want to take that opportunity to capture a quick video testimonial of their positive experience as well.
You can then view those videos and choose to post them onto YouTube, (which dramatically improves your online search results), your microsite, Twitter, and your Facebook page. This boost to your online presence will result in driving more traffic to your website.
2. Acquire new patient referrals
Give your patients the opportunity (and perhaps an incentive) to refer their friends and family members to your practice. Relying on them to proactively spread the word about how great or family-friendly your practice is doesn’t often prove an adequate means of generating referrals.
The Solutionreach patient surveys feature allows you to include a ‘Refer-a-Friend’ link that invites patients to input contact info for family and friends. You can then use that information to reach out to the referred patients with a special offer for visiting your practice.
Make sure you are utilizing your patient surveys before you think about spending money on more marketing, as ‘warm contacts’ will produce far more new patients than mass marketing tactics.
3. Build patient relationships
Not only are surveys are a great tool for finding out how your office can improve, but they are a great way to get to know your patients on a more personal level. By engaging your patients through surveys, you will be better able to assess a patient’s confidence in themselves to be proactive about their health and accomplish their personal goals.
If you ask the right questions, you can find out what their short and long term health goals are and discuss ways you can assist them in accomplishing these goals. By utilizing this tool to open up the lines of communication, you will build greater trust and patient loyalty.
If you find your patients aren’t engaging in your surveys as much as you would like, try offering a small incentive to your patients as a thank you for their valuable feedback (such as a coupon for services or products you many offer.)
With the new year underway, it’s time to set some goals and create change. Start surveying to find out what you and your patients deserve to experience and what new opportunities 2015 will bring for your practice!
Stay tuned for the ‘What and How’ of patient surveys…