We get questions all the time about patient satisfaction surveys and whether or not they’re worth the effort and money.
Let’s be clear: the goal of any patient survey is to build better doctor-patient relationships, identify problematic areas, and provide better overall care. Surveys demonstrate that you and your staff care about your patients’ happiness, that you’re interested in the quality of care you provide and are looking for ways to improve.
Not only that but online patient surveys tie directly into your overall reputation management and customer service strategy. A patient satisfaction survey shows you’re looking to make improvements and you’re asking for feedback. It empowers you to be proactive.
If you’re focused on your CAHPS score (as many of our medical practice clients are), an online patient satisfaction survey may provide you with a way to measure both patient satisfaction and the patient’s experience of their care without incurring enormous costs. Patient experience surveys such as CAHPS do not focus on amenities; they concentrate on how patients experienced critical aspects of their care including:
- Communication with their doctors
- Understanding their medication instructions
- Coordination of their healthcare needs
Below we’ll lay out how you can create a quick, and effective online patient satisfaction survey tailor-made for your practice without breaking the bank.
Take Control of Your Reputation
According to a recent survey conducted by Dimensional Research and Zendesk, almost 55% of consumers who shared a negative experience shared it over five times, compared with 33% of those who shared a positive experience.
Instead of waiting for patients to share their frustration (or exhilaration) on the likes of Yelp and Healthgrades or other random websites, asking for feedback will help you mitigate the effects of any negative reviews and respond in real-time. It will also allow you to amplify and promote positive feedback to current and prospective patients.
You can ask and be proactive about feedback in an array of ways including:
- Sending an immediate survey
- Creating a feedback page
- Putting up flyers in patient rooms for feedback
- Handing out business cards with feedback links on the back
All of these measures will prepare you to deal with any negatives upfront rather than spend time (and much stress) dealing with them later on.
Do online patient satisfaction surveys have their limitations? Of course, they do. Are they completely valid? Of course not.
However, a well-designed and thought-out survey can help identify certain trends within your practice; and for that, it can be a useful tool to assess where your office’s strengths and weaknesses are. The key takeaway where patient satisfaction surveys are concerned is to keep them simple and act on what you learn.
If you’re going to have a patient satisfaction survey, we suggest putting them online. Here’s why:
Ease of Access
If your survey is online, it’s easier for both you and your patients to find and use the survey to its fullest potential (plus you’ll save a few trees in the process).
For you, housing your survey online saves you from having to hand one out to every patient that walks through the door. Plus, you can keep all the results in one convenient place without cluttering up your office or potentially losing forms.
For your patients, housing your survey online gives them the chance to fill it out at their leisure without the thought of someone standing over them watching what they write. Ideally, it will also allow them to be more honest with their answers because the results are submitted from miles away in the comfort and seclusion of their own home (or wi-fi hotspot of choice).
Easier to Pull Data
Having your surveys online makes it far more comfortable for you to access the information when you need it. Moreover, it enables you to cull and analyze the data whenever you need and will lead to more informed decision-making.
Want to see results and identify trends in your office? No problem, the results are already in a handy spreadsheet. If you need to pull up a specific response, the work is already done for you: just search for it. With online surveys, you save the time-consuming step of having to manually input data. You also eliminate the risk of human error when entering data or trying to read someone else’s handwriting.
Easy Way to Ask for Patient Testimonials
Would you like a few new glowing testimonials to put up on your practice’s website?
Create a comment box on your survey for patients to submit testimonials when they feel so inclined. Then all you have to do is copy the text over to your site and, presto, you’re done. This, again, eliminates a step and potential for human error.
Creating a Survey
So, are you ready to put your patient satisfaction surveys online? We thought so.
There are plenty of free survey services out there, but our favorite is the “Forms” tool found in Google Drive. All you need to create a survey is a Google account and about 15 minutes.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to create a quality survey in Google Drive in just a few minutes:
- Sign into www.Google.com/Drive with your Google account.
- Click on the red “Create” button and choose “Form” from the drop-down menu.
- Choose a title and template for your survey.
- Begin adding questions and response choices to your form. Drive offers the ability to add everything from open comment boxes to multiple choice questions and even numbered rating scales.
- When you’re satisfied with the questions listed, click “Send Form” from the top right of the page.
- You can now email the form or copy the embed code and put it right on your website.
- Drive will store all responses in a Google Spreadsheet you can access from anywhere when you’re logged into your Google account.
As stated above, we recognize that patient surveys have their limitations, but their value when it comes to determining trends within your office can’t be understated. Not only can they help improve your practice, but a useful patient survey can also allow you to stand out above your competition. At the end of the day, the time and effort you put in will translate into better care and happier patients.
With that said, isn’t it about time you set one up on your website? And as always, if you’d like to discuss how we can help you get there, don’t hesitate to reach out.