Are They Satisfied? Patient Satisfaction Surveys are Important!

by Jenna Bunnell, Dialpad

Patient Satisfaction Surveys

Patient experience is the most important part of any healthcare business.

An excellent experience doesn’t just mean that you are likely to retain a patient – it can also help you to attract more patients through word of mouth. As well as this, all healthcare professionals strive to give the best treatment, and a patient’s overall experience is part of this.

So how can we improve patient experience? One of the best ways to make sure that users are having the best possible healthcare experience is through patient satisfaction surveys. Survey responses should be one way in which you can use data to improve your service.

By demonstrating the ways in which surveys can improve patient experience with practical question templates, the importance of a patient satisfaction survey will become clear.

How To Conduct Satisfaction Surveys

Firstly, you need to consider how to conduct surveys with your patients. If you have a practice with a small number of patients, you may want to use an IP phone service to easily talk to users. This can help to build a good relationship with patients and allow you to elaborate on survey responses.

However, many healthcare organizations do not have the time or resources to conduct surveys over the phone. Instead, surveys can be written on a word processing software and printed, before being handed to users in person.

Alternatively, you could email users with a link to a web page containing the survey. Whichever method of delivery you use, a patient satisfaction survey can be conducted with minimum fuss and cost.

Why Patient Satisfaction Surveys are Important with Templates to Help You Build Excellent Surveys

Now that you know how to conduct your surveys in a way that suits your business, it’s time to write them. The best way to produce effective surveys is to think about the end result. The reasons why satisfaction surveys are important are explored below. They should drive which questions you ask.

1 – Streamlining the pre-appointment process

Often, healthcare practitioners will focus only on the experience of patients during diagnosis and treatment. However, an important part of a patient’s experience is the process leading up to the appointment.

This includes booking an appointment, arriving at the medical center, checking in, and waiting for the appointment. Often, it can also include filling out forms – if your survey responses describe issues with these forms, consider using tools such as a release of liability template to create easier forms.

By asking patients about their pre-appointment experience, you can streamline this process to make it more effective and easier to use, and to improve the productivity of reception staff.

Questions Template:

  1. How do you prefer to book an appointment?
  2. Was it easy to book an appointment?
  3. How easy was it to get to your appointment (e.g., public transport, car parking, time of appointment)?
  4. From 1-10, how would you rate your experience checking in to your appointment?
  5. How difficult or time consuming were any forms you had to complete?
  6. How satisfied were you with the waiting time for the appointment?

2 – Improving your medical practice

Medical practitioners are always looking to make their service the most professional and effective that it can be. Just as doctors will always look for new ways to diagnose patients or new drugs that may help customers, they should use surveys to make the experience of receiving medical care as satisfactory as possible.

Improving patient experience is achieved by knowing what patients expect from a medical practitioner, and surveys are the best way to get honest feedback to allow your dental practice to improve.

Questions Template:

  1. How knowledgeable/caring/responsive were your dental staff?
  2. Did you feel prioritized when receiving care?
  3. How satisfied are you with your dental care?
  4. Did you feel that the doctors listened to you?
  5. Do you understand the doctor’s instructions and information?
  6. How can we improve your experience when receiving dental care?

3 – Create a better overall experience

As well as breaking down the patient experience into their satisfaction with the appointment and the pre-appointment process, it is important to recognize that patient satisfaction is often driven by their overall experience.

By knowing what patients expect from their overall experience, you can create data that can produce a suitable solution for your practice.

Questions Template:

  1. How would you rate your overall appointment?
  2. Which phrases would you apply to our organization – e.g., “modern,” “straightforward,” “difficult to use,” “hygienic,” “unclean,” “safe,” “unwelcoming”?
  3. What did you appreciate the most from your experience?
  4. What would you change about your experience?
  5. How likely are you to recommend this practice to friends or family? Why/why not?

4 – Improve your Aftercare Services

Keeping in touch with patients is a crucial part of healthcare – it’s why it is so important to know how to port phone number if you switch providers.

Aftercare is an increasingly important part of a dental practice, so you should also use patient satisfaction surveys to measure the effectiveness of your aftercare provision. Surveys are the best way to do this, as you cannot ask users in person about their experience, as you could if they were visiting the practice.

Questions Template

  1. Did you feel like your doctor continued to care about you after you left the practice?
  2. How satisfied are you with continuing treatment?
  3. How would you rate communication between you and the practice?
  4. Have you been able to get responses to any questions since you left the practice?

Patient Satisfaction Surveys: The Best Way to Improve Your Practice

As we have seen, satisfaction surveys are the easiest and most effective way to ensure that your healthcare organization is the best it can possibly be.

Surveys can help you to improve your pre-appointment process, your medical care, the overall experience of patients, and your aftercare provision. By using the templates in this article, you can make sure that your practice keeps its patients and continues to grow.

About the Author

Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, a cloud-hosted PBX and AI-incorporated unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Check out her LinkedIn profile.