Today, we can see a whole lot more healthcare organizations, clinics, and GPs doing patient satisfaction surveys. And that’s a good thing. But why is there such an emphasis on the importance of patient satisfaction surveys?
Well, healthcare organizations, clinics, and hospitals (unless they’re owned by the government) are actually businesses.
That fact isn’t lost to us at all…
Patients are customers. And for a business to thrive and deliver the best services (or in this case, health care) possible, customers must be satisfied. They need to receive adequate medical attention they deserve as human beings, and quite frankly, it’s only right to give them honest services.
They’re paying handsomely for top-grade healthcare, aren’t they?
Hence, you see an emphasis on the importance of patient satisfaction surveys…
By knowing the importance of patient satisfaction surveys and conducting them, healthcare providers learn if they are meeting expectations of their patients. Or if they’re somehow lacking in some areas.
Your patients’ views on your services and your medical care is important, so you can set standards and take action whenever certain standards aren’t met.
What’s the importance of patient satisfaction surveys?
Consumer surveys have long been used to create stellar customer experiences — especially in the service and retail industries. If you want to provide better care for your patients, be an active healthcare provider.
The importance of patient satisfaction surveys encompass:
#1 Starting conversations with patients
One of the best benefits of surveying patients is that you let them know that you’re listening to them. You let them know that their opinion matters. You’re giving them a say in how to run your healthcare service, and how you can serve them better. Building stronger relationships with patients help providers too. Look at it this way… Just like any consumer-facing business, people naturally tell others about good experiences.
Demonstrate that you listen to patients by making meaningful changes in response. Soon enough, word of mouth will spread, and patient-base will likely grow.
#2 Finding your strengths
The long wait times and the difficulties that come with booking appointments are evidently irritating for patients. It’s just like waiting in a long line to check out and there’s only one cashier. Some patients won’t be shy about verbalizing these complaints. But, the same hardly becomes the truth when queues are managed accordingly and appointments are readily available.
Patient surveys and good healthcare management software help you pinpoint exactly where you’re getting things right. Often, these sorts of things slip under the radar.
This is advantageous to you in 2 ways:
- Gives you the chance to celebrate your strengths.
- Empowers you to explore why these elements of your service are working so well.
You can learn just as much from receiving positive feedback as you can from complaints. So do all you can to understand your successes and replicate them wherever possible.
#3 Increasing patient engagement
Patient engagement is just as critical as the importance of patient satisfaction surveys. There are numerous reports and studies that show that the more active patients are in their healthcare, the more likely they will:
- Really important knowledge and information.
- Feel confident about managing their conditions.
- Report back saying the chosen treatment was right for them.
- Feel satisfaction with their care and treatment.
- Follow their chosen treatment according to protocol.
- Participate in prevention and monitoring activities.
By performing surveys, you’re telling patients that you care about healthcare quality. And that you are searching for ways to improve your services, and you want them to actively participate in the management of their health.
#4 Providing more accessibility and inclusivity
As a healthcare provider, you need to be responsible for ensuring your provided services are delivered in ways that aren’t exclusive. And unless you have lived or experienced life in other people’s shoes, it’s understandable that you might have gaps in your knowledge.
But it’s your responsibility to now fill in this gap.
For sure your healthcare office already has translated healthcare information in different languages, and your digital kiosks are already armed with accessibility features.
But it’s impossible to cover everything.
Hence, the importance of patient satisfaction surveys…
In surveys, your patients can raise concerns if your facilities are still missing some inclusivity and accessibility features. This way, you can remedy the situation as quickly as possible.
#5 Being more versatile
Patient surveys are versatile. You can use them to assess your performance across a close to an infinite number of criteria. Your only limit? Not being able to come up with more insightful questions.
Simple surveys can measure the general patient experience, but they are unlikely to provide detailed insights into your performance. However, it can help reveal areas of service which you could improve.
Or you can have a general survey first as your preliminary activity. And based on the answers given, you’ll create more surveys that reference the previous ones in the future.
However, you’re going to need competent analytic software to help you interpret results and responses. Otherwise, you’ll need to factor in plenty of time to work through all the data and analyze the results manually.
You’ve heard it said: “The customer is always right.”
Some think it doesn’t apply appropriately to healthcare, and some believe that these surveys undermine the delivery of high-quality healthcare. The adoption and the importance of patient satisfaction surveys is not a bad idea at all.
Rather than attempting to measure the quality of the medical treatment provided, you must use them as tools to assess the experience a patient has with practice, the hospital, the surgery, etc.
If you’re serious about improving and modernizing the patient experience, perform regular surveys. Dig deep into how your patients feel, and find problem areas that you can address. All without causing too much extra work for the rest of your staff.
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