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Surveying patients and referral sources can provide surprising feedback and ideas as well as alert practice leaders to needed change. With these best practice tips you can survey like a pro and get results that guide practice decisions for a bright future!
Surveys are a valuable resource for practices that want to remain competitive. In fact, in a recent report, 80% of the “better-performing” practices said they use patient satisfaction surveys to gauge practice performance.
By assessing approval ratings, these practices gain insight into how patients view their practices in terms of wait times, appointment availability, quality of care, and other vital areas. Surveying patients can also provide direction for major practice decisions, like adding a service line, changing locations, expanding hours or bringing on a new provider.
Surveying referral sources expresses your commitment to excellence to those practices and physicians that entrust their patients to you. It’s easy to make assumptions, but asking patients and referring practices what they want, and what they do or don’t like, will help you make informed, data-driven decisions with better outcomes.
One reason some practices resist implementing a survey tool is the assumption that their patients or referral sources are perfectly happy; they are doing a great job and don’t need to ask. It’s human nature to make assumptions, especially when we are trying our best, but practice insiders don’t encounter the business from the mindset or position of the patient or referring practice. This blind spot can distort perception and make it difficult to provide an exceptional service.
If you’re concerned about the time and effort it will require to conduct a survey, try implementing a short and targeted survey to a smaller target demographic-like top referrers or new patients. Get comfortable compiling results and responding before taking on a larger survey.
Online email survey tools from companies like Survey Monkey and Constant Contact make implementation quick and inexpensive. If you need live tech support, Constant Contact has over-the-phone assistance to walk you through the process and have you surveying like a pro in no time.
Some of the most attractive reasons for using surveys are affordability, the ability to re-measure frequently, and the ability to gain feedback on specific topics.
Here are some best practice tips to get you started:
Top practices embrace patient feedback because they know it’s a measurement they can’t ignore, with the shifting focus of healthcare being on value and some payers tying reimbursements to such indicators.
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Surveys can provide valuable insight and creative suggestions directly from those you serve and those who can make or break your practice. Not only does this insight empower you to make data-driven change, it can also help you avoid costly mistakes.
1 MGMA Performance and Practices of Successful Medical Groups; www.healthitoutcomes.com/doc/almost-percent-better-performers-conduct-patient-satisfaction-0001