In your busy healthcare practice, you see lots of patients every day. Most of them are pretty happy with their experience, but occasionally there is a patient who has a bad experience or has a suggestion about how you could improve. But how will you know that if you don’t ask. About two-thirds of people complete at least half of the surveys they are sent. We know, that’s kind of a confusing statistic, but basically it means that if you send satisfaction surveys to your patients, chances are good you’ll get a lot of responses back.
When you decide to send surveys out largely depends on the information you want from your patients. Patient relationship management software (PRM) often comes with pre-written survey questions that you can customize, or you can write your own. A best practice is to send out a survey within 24 hours after a patient has been in your office. This way, the appointment is still in their mind and you will get more accurate answers. These surveys are a great time to ask specifically about their experience. Questions asking about the best part of their visit or what you could have done to make them more comfortable give your patients the opportunity to share their experiences with you. Other questions can ask your patients to rate their wait time or overall appointment. These questions help your practice get unfiltered comments right from the source. And since the results go directly to you, you can address any problems or concerns before your patients leave a negative review online.
PRM software can also make it easy for your practice to gather opinions about available services or general practice information. Your patient database can be segmented using a wide variety of information, so you can choose which patients you want to hear from to get the best information. If you want to find out about what your patients think about your selection of glasses frames, your best responses will come from your patients who have glasses. If you want to find out how your dental practice can better accommodate young patients, the most helpful patients will be those who bring in their children. Other surveys can be beneficial if they are sent to all of your patients, like questions about office hours and scheduling availability. Your PRM platform helps you group patients with similar characteristics to make your surveys more effective.
The most important thing about patient surveys is what you do with the information you collect. If you see that your patients are commenting about long wait times or that scheduling an appointment was difficult, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your office procedures and make some changes. Similarly, pay attention to patients who make positive comments about their experience or a specific staff member. Those comments can help you know what your office is doing well, and be a great morale booster to the employees in your office.