Surveying patients can be a valuable practice and a vital tool for improving the healthcare industry. But it only brings value if executed correctly. To illustrate this point, let's take a look at why patient engagement surveys are so valuable to healthcare organizations and how they can improve several areas related to reputation and quality of care.
Patient engagement surveys, also known as patient feedback or patient experience surveys, ask questions to measure and assess the patient's experience. Surveys generally include questions about patient knowledge, usage of healthcare services, communication preferences, quality of care, status review, and more. The information they provide can help healthcare facilities improve communication and organizational transparency through tracking, reporting, and solving problems.
It's no secret that patient experience matters more than ever before, and that is why using patient engagement surveys is so important. If you are new to using surveys or haven't used them in the past, getting started can be difficult.
How to Develop a Patient Engagement Survey
Creating a successful patient engagement survey starts with deciding upon and specifying your survey objectives. You will want to have clear, unambiguous goals for the survey. Ask yourself:
- What do I want to learn from this survey?
- What are the most important things that I need to know from my patients?
- How will I use these results?
- Will this information help me improve the patient experience or my practice?
The answers to these questions will guide you through the entire process, from developing the survey questions to analyzing and interpreting the data. The more specific your goals, the easier it will be to construct an effective patient engagement survey.
Remember that you're doing patient engagement surveys to get better insight into your patients' experiences to improve what you do. Design your survey goals precisely with that end goal in mind, and your survey should allow you to collect the data you need.
Framing Your Questions
Once you’ve set the goals for your survey, it's time to design your questions. Asking the right questions will help you get the information you need to improve your patient experience and ensure that every patient who visits your clinic feels like they've had the opportunity to provide feedback.
It's vital to ask precise questions without multiple interpretations that could influence your patient's response. Asking a question like "How satisfied were you with your experience at our clinic?" could lead patients to a positive response, even if they didn't feel the appointment addressed their concerns.
You will want to ask questions that encourage patients to speak their minds freely. Avoid excess verbiage and use short, simple phrases like "On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate your overall satisfaction with [the procedure]?" Keeping it straightforward can help you get more accurate results from your survey.
How to Deliver a Patient Engagement Survey
The responses that determine the value of a patient engagement survey, but how you package and deliver the survey influences responses. The presentation must be a foremost concern. If your survey isn't easy to fill out, it's too long, or people aren't sure how to use it, you will have unanswered questions.
Instead, focus on:
- Ease of use. Your survey should be intuitive and easy to use. You don't want people getting frustrated with it or trying unnecessarily to understand how it works.
- Length. Surveys that ask too many questions can quickly become tedious for participants. Ask the questions you need, but don't drag things out.
- Presentation. Make sure your survey looks professional and clean so that participants feel confident about filling out their answers honestly and accurately.
Patient engagement surveys are one of the most convenient ways to collect data about your patients. Modern communications technology makes them even more so. Data is delivered instantly, meaning you can get it when needed instead of waiting for months for a survey to be filled out and returned. It also means that data collection is automated, so your staff doesn't have to spend time manually entering the results into a spreadsheet or database.
You can deliver surveys anywhere people are — including on mobile devices — so patients can fill them out whenever they have a few minutes to spare. Your staff doesn't have to worry about setting aside time to reach out and ask them. That makes surveys far more likely to be completed than if administered face-to-face or over the phone.
The Importance of Engaging Patients With Their Healthcare Providers
Community health and healthcare institutions build on the strength of their relationships with patients. Honest engagement between patients, physicians, and staff is crucial for building trust, improving outcomes, and even gaining a competitive edge.
You can use data from patient surveys in several ways:
- Inform quality improvement efforts.
- Improve the efficiency of your staffing process.
- Improve patients' overall health, medical compliance, and confidence in treatments received.
- Show patients that physicians value their feedback.
In short, patient engagement surveys are a great way to get feedback from your patients and learn more about how they feel about their treatment and experience in your office. They give you a way to improve your practice, leading to better online reviews and more foot traffic.
You can use patient engagement surveys to head off negative online reviews or address issues before they become serious problems that could hurt business. A survey can also allow you to learn what your customers want most from your practice, so you tailor your services accordingly.
Create Your Patient Engagement Survey
Effective patient engagement solutions are a critical part of a successful healthcare organization. Not only does it help your patients feel more at ease and welcome, but it also makes for a better working environment for you and your staff. When you develop a patient engagement survey and distribute it correctly, you improve the patient experience, providing a positive healthcare environment for all parties involved.
At QliqSOFT, we work with clients from different industries to develop patient engagement strategies, including survey solutions that meet their unique needs. We offer several options to customize to fit your organization. Contact us today to learn more.
A lifelong communicator, this Tennessee native got his start in broadcast news before branching out into public media, corporate, communications, digital advertising, and integrated marketing. Prior to joining QliqSOFT as the company's first marketing team member, Ben shared his talents with organizations that include the University of Alabama, iHeartMedia, and The Kroger Company.
Engaging Patients &
Connecting Care Teams
Flexible. Easy. Secure.
Experience the power of QliqSOFT's digital engagement platform to reduce staff burnout, keep your patients engaged and reduce staff costs.Learn More