Healthcare workers enter the industry with the drive to help people. They care deeply about how people feel and want to make their lives better. Unfortunately, patients are not always satisfied with the care they receive. Providers can try to guess what improvements they can make or use the best tool to determine what needs improvement, a patient satisfaction survey.
These surveys will help determine what areas of the practice exceed expectations and which areas to focus on. Of course, not all patient surveys are the same. It is essential to ask the right questions so that the patients can provide meaningful guidance.
1. Was the appointment process smooth and efficient?
Having the process of making an appointment easy is vital to patients. Everyone has a busy life, and finding time for appointments can be difficult. Today there are a lot of options for methods of booking appointments. Many practices offer patients the ability to schedule appointments online, through apps, or even text messages. If only a phone appointment booking system is available, having a receptionist who quickly and efficiently schedules the appointments is preferred. Patients do not want to spend long hours on the phone. They also do not want to wait months to receive an appointment, so having appointments available sooner rather than later will increase satisfaction.
2. How was the cleanliness and ambiance of the office?
Having a clean and welcoming in your practice is pivotal. Cleanliness helps patients feel like everything is safe and clean, so their health is in good hands. Beyond cleanliness, the general ambiance of the office is also essential. Having an inviting, warm environment helps patients feel at ease. The more comfortable they feel with the office, the better the tone is for the whole visit.
3. How would you rate your wait time?
Clinics are notorious for running behind schedule. Patients have busy lives that they rearrange to make appointments feasible. If a patient is left waiting for too long, their satisfaction will go down. If they feel the wait is consistently long, they might shop for a different practice.
4. Were you satisfied with your interactions with the office staff?
Everyone a patient encounter is important. If the patient set the appointment on the phone, the person who assisted was the first impression. After the patient walks in the door, the receptionist’s demeanor sets the tone and first impression. Making sure a patient is comfortable and informed from beginning to end is essential in customer satisfaction.
5. How was the care provider?
The actual doctor makes a significant impact on a patient’s satisfaction. Multiple characteristics affect the overall impression. Having a warm, friendly doctor will help a patient feel calm and comfortable. If the doctor rushes, it has a negative impact. Patients appreciate a doctor who takes the time to answer questions and concerns. It also helps the patient feel that the doctor is knowledgeable and delivering quality, knowledgeable care.
6. How was the care you received?
Even if a facility is inviting and a doctor is warm, the care provided is the ultimate indicator of customer satisfaction. A doctor can be knowledgeable and kind, but if a patient doesn’t feel the care they received was the best, they will not leave happy.
7. How efficient and comprehensive was the billing process?
The cost of care is a considerable concern for patients. Having upfront answers to billing questions will remove stress considerably. Patients will want to determine whether the practice accepts their insurance situation easily and quickly. They will also want to know what the out-of-pocket costs will be in addition to insurance coverage or if the patient is paying cash. In addition to how much everything will cost, the ease of setting billing up is another factor in satisfaction. If a patient has to spend hours on the phone addressing insurance and billing, they will be dissatisfied.
8. How well were evaluation and treatment explained?
If a patient has a condition that requires treatment, having a thorough understanding of the plan of action is essential. Whether a patient needs medication, a procedure, or other care, knowledge is power. Having a sense of what to expect will reduce the patient’s stress and anxiety. All the patient’s questions and concerns should be addressed without them feeling rushed. Everyone should feel confident that the plan of action is clear and correct for the situation.
9. Would you recommend our facility to family and friends?
An excellent indicator of a patient’s satisfaction is whether they would recommend someone they know. A patient who is unsure of their satisfaction might continue going until they decide, but they will not risk telling others to go there. If a patient recommends a doctor or practice, it shows they are proud and satisfied with the care they received. It is fair in that case to assume the level of the clinic is meeting or exceeding their expectations.
10. Do you have any other recommendations or concerns?
Having an open-ended question helps to find improvements that might otherwise go overlooked. Sometimes a simple survey doesn’t cover everything a patient has to say. Having the ability to communicate additional feedback is beneficial to the practice and helps patients feel they are heard.
The success of a practice depends on the satisfaction of the patients. Practices need to have a thorough understanding of where they are exceeding expectations and where they need to focus on improvement. A patient satisfaction survey is the best tool available to analyze a clinic’s strengths and weaknesses.
Having a satisfaction survey isn’t enough, however. It needs to ask the right questions. For more guidance or information, Fusion can help. Fusion specializes in organizing and optimizing the flow of pediatric physical, speech, and occupational therapy clinics. We assist in everything from scheduling to billing, ensuring a smooth patient experience from beginning to end. For more information or a personalized game plan, contact us today.