How to Create a Patient Satisfaction Survey

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Patient feedback is key to the success of medical and dental offices. Patient satisfaction surveys can help them identify areas that need improvement and expand customer relations. Asking the right questions and using an organized and easy-to-follow format will encourage patients to cooperate.

Get organized. Jot down a common list of procedures your business performs. Even if there are hundreds, try to group common ones together and limit the list to approximately 50 to 75 procedures.

Devise questions that include the following areas: ease of making appointments (including the amount of time left on hold), interactions with front-office staff, nurses and medical assistants (including getting test results back, having calls returned and overall courtesy), interactions with doctors (including attentiveness, time invested in the visit and clarity of explanations) and post-procedure experiences (including side effects and recovery time).

Use feedback from patients to help you devise additional questions. Create a couple of focus groups with about 10 patients in each and come up with questions based on issues they raise.

Put it all together. At the top of the survey, include a brief statement that conveys how much you value patient feedback and how it helps make your office better. Include a list of procedures, and have patients check a box next to the one performed. Include the questions you devised from steps 2 and 3 below this, making sure to leave enough room for answers. Try to fit all questions and comment areas on the front of one piece of paper. This is so patients won't feel overwhelmed.

Print the survey on company letterhead if you intend to hand them out or mail them. If you mail them, always include a free stamped return envelope. This will motivate patients to return the surveys. If you intend to send them via email, make sure you save the document in the appropriate desktop folder.

Hire companies to do the patient satisfaction surveys for your business if you don't have enough time and can afford it. They can send snail mails or emails or phone patients.

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