Patient satisfaction surveys are becoming increasingly popular in many healthcare settings. They are used to measure how satisfied patients are with the care they receive at a healthcare organization and their overall experience. Creating a patient satisfaction survey for your medical practice doesn’t have to be tricky. In this guide, we will delve into the importance of patient satisfaction surveys and some patient satisfaction surveys examples.
What is a patient satisfaction survey in healthcare?
A patient satisfaction survey in healthcare is a quality assessment tool that comprises questions used to collect patient feedback to assess their satisfaction with the quality and care of a healthcare service provider. This questionnaire for patient satisfaction can be tailored to collect patient assessment of different aspects of the healthcare service like communication, quality of care, responsiveness of staff, and hospital environment. Patient surveys can also be used to collect patient’s thoughts on new changes that have been introduced in processes or to the hospital/clinic.
A well-designed patient satisfaction questionnaire can give insights to a patient’s perspectives and help identify ways to improve your practice. Depending on what your practice would like to assess, patient satisfaction surveys can be customized in-house or readily available patient surveys templates can be used. It is important that the survey is able to translate patients’ subjective perceptions to meaningful, quantifiable, and actionable data.
Why are patient satisfaction surveys important?
With the growing shift towards value-based care, more and more healthcare providers are aware of the need to keep patients continuously satisfied. Healthcare providers, more than ever before, are concerned about how their patients feel about their experience with them and continuously strive to maintain patient satisfaction. Patient satisfaction surveys help healthcare providers achieve this goal.
Here are some of the reasons why patient satisfaction surveys are important
- To achieve excellence: Any healthcare provider that prioritizes the quality of its services and the perceptions of the patients will be interested in using patient surveys as a quality improvement tool for its organizational performance. Patient surveys are important for continuous quality improvement as they give insights to strategies for quality improvement of care. In a recent Sermo poll, a cardiothoracic surgeon explained that
“The main reason for this is that providing patients with the best possible care is very important in the modern healthcare industry. Conducting patient satisfaction surveys will allow healthcare providers to learn if they are meeting the expectations of their patients or if they are lacking in any area”.
- To identify areas for improvement: The results of a patient satisfaction questionnaire can help healthcare providers identify gaps in their service and also ways to improve patient experience. In a recent Sermo poll, 51% of physicians indicated that the biggest benefit of patient satisfaction surveys was that it helped with identifying areas of improvement in their practice.
- To increase revenue: No doubt, every practice wants to increase its revenue. Patient surveys can help you identify areas you need to focus more on to attract and retain more patients in order to increase your revenue.
- To remain compliant with the law: Asides helping you identify areas of improvement, patient surveys keep you in check and help you run a practice that complies with the requirements of the law.
- To boost patient loyalty: Patients want to feel heard and want to be treated with dignity. Administering surveys and acting on the results make patients feel like their concerns are being heard and that their opinions are valid. This has a way of building their trust in your practice and helps them feel more comfortable choosing your practice.
Patient satisfaction surveys examples
Designing the questionnaire for a patient satisfaction survey must be done carefully. Choose questions that will help you understand your patient’s perception more clearly. Healthcare providers can choose to use existing patient survey templates or develop one themselves. Developing a survey from scratch can be time-consuming and taxing. It can be quite useful to see an example patient satisfaction survey. A good example of a healthcare patient satisfaction survey template is the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey.
The HCAHPS is a national, standardized, publicly reported survey used to collect patients’ perspectives of their healthcare experience. The survey features 29 questions and it was created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in partnership with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The survey contains 19 core questions about critical aspects of patients’ hospital experiences (communication with nurses and doctors, the responsiveness of hospital staff, the cleanliness and quietness of the hospital environment, communication about medicines, discharge information, overall rating of hospital, and would they recommend the hospital). The survey also includes three items to direct patients to relevant questions, five items to adjust for the mix of patients across hospitals, and two items that support Congressionally-mandated reports. Choose the ones that are relevant for your practice or adapt them to your organization.
Here are the 29 questions in the HCAHPS.
Your care from nurses
- During this hospital stay, how often did nurses treat you with courtesy and respect?
- During this hospital stay, how often did nurses listen carefully to you?
- During this hospital stay, how often did nurses explain things in a way you could understand?
- During this hospital stay, after you pressed the call button, how often did you get help as soon as you wanted it?
Your care from doctors
- During this hospital stay, how often did doctors treat you with courtesy and respect?
- During this hospital stay, how often did doctors listen carefully to you?
- During this hospital stay, how often did doctors explain things in a way you could understand?
The hospital environment
- During this hospital stay, how often were your room and bathroom kept clean?
- During this hospital stay, how often was the area around your room quiet at night?
Your experiences in this hospital
- During this hospital stay, did you need help from nurses or other hospital staff in getting to the bathroom or in using a bedpan?
- How often did you get help in getting to the bathroom or in using a bedpan as soon as you wanted?
- During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before?
- Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for?
- Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?
When you left the hospital
- After you left the hospital, did you go directly to your own home, to someone else’s home, or to another health facility?
- During this hospital stay, did doctors, nurses or other hospital staff talk with you about whether you would have the help you needed when you left the hospital?
- During this hospital stay, did you get information in writing about what symptoms or health problems to look out for after you left the hospital?
Overall rating of the hospital
- Using any number from 0 to 10, where 0 is the worst hospital possible and 10 is the best hospital possible, what number would you use to rate this hospital during your stay?
- Would you recommend this hospital to your friends and family?
Understanding your care
- During this hospital stay, staff took my preferences and those of my family or caregiver into account in deciding what my health care needs would be when I left.
- When I left the hospital, I had a good understanding of the things I was responsible for in managing my health.
- When I left the hospital, I clearly understood the purpose for taking each of my medications.
- During this hospital stay, were you admitted to this hospital through the Emergency Room?
- In general, how would you rate your overall health?
- In general, how would you rate your overall mental or emotional health?
- What is the highest grade or level of school that you have completed?
- Are you of Spanish, Hispanic or Latino origin or descent?
- What is your race? Please choose one or more.
- What language do you mainly speak at home?
A good example of patient satisfaction survey, the HCAHPS covers various areas of patient care. Some practices combine the 19 core questions in the HCAHPS with other tailored questions to gain a better understanding of their patient’s experience.
If you choose to design your survey, here are some patient survey examples you can include in your questionnaire for patient satisfaction.
- Based on your recent experience with our practice, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend?
- How convenient is our location for you?
- How easy was it finding our location?
- How would you rate your experience with our practice today?
- How easy was it scheduling your appointment with us?
- Has your visit to our practice today been helpful?
- How would you rate the professionalism of our staff?
- How would you rate the overall care and quality of service you received at our practice?
- Did your doctor answer all your questions today?
- How satisfied are you with your treatment plan or management?
- Did you understand clearly all that your doctor discussed with you today?
- Were you able to find all the prescribed medicines in our pharmacy?
- Have we helped you find other services you need that we do not provide?
- How satisfied are you with the billing process?
- Do you have any other recommendations or feedback for us?
The patient satisfaction survey should be tailored to suit the needs of your practice. What’s important is to ask relevant questions that will give actionable data that will benefit the quality improvement of your practice. This brings us back to the significance of having a patient satisfaction questionnaire sample on hand as a starting point.
Patient satisfaction surveys: A path to improvement
Seeking to understand your patients’ perception is one of the most effective ways to improve your practice. When done right, it can give insights that can take your practice to the next level. Are you looking to design your own survey to measure patient satisfaction in your practice? Consider using examples of patient surveys and patient satisfaction surveys examples as your guide in constructing a well-rounded questionnaire.
Remember, the goal of conducting a patient satisfaction survey in healthcare is not just to measure, but also to understand, act, and implement necessary changes. Each response to your survey is a voice that tells you how you can better your services. Do not shy away from negative feedback. Use it as a stepping stone to elevate your practice to a higher level of patient care.
In conclusion, patient satisfaction surveys examples offer invaluable insight into what your patients think about your practice. They can provide a wealth of information that can help you improve patient satisfaction, enhance patient loyalty, and ultimately, increase your practice’s bottom line. Whether you are designing your survey from scratch or using a healthcare patient satisfaction survey template, what matters is your commitment to taking your patients’ feedback seriously and using it to make necessary improvements to your practice. Seeking to understand your patients’ perception, using patient satisfaction surveys examples is one of the most effective ways to improve your practice. When done right, it can give insights that can take your practice to the next level. Are you looking to design your own survey to measure patient satisfaction in your practice?
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