Over the recent years, patient satisfaction surveys have gained popularity as an essential tool for quality improvement and as a source of information for identifying gaps and flaws in healthcare organizations. According to research, satisfied patients and customers refer other people or patients at a much higher rate compared to those who’re dissatisfied. Unique perspectives and any form of criticism from customers and patients are valuable in shedding lights on areas in the practices and processes where customers are happy, stuck or even frustrated.
Patient’s satisfaction and happiness are two different terms in the medical world. The business mantra of “the customer is always right” may not translate so well into this scenario. Choosing the right survey questions will help eliminate the ambiguity of responses from the patients and customers at large. Successful dental patient surveys seek to measure the human interaction in the healthcare organization and not much on the level of happiness, results or progress from the last visit. Keeping in mind that patients mightn’t always know what’s in their best interest, it’s highly recommended to devote much of the survey focused on people’s skills and the professionalism of the entire practice.
Structuring the surveys
To come up with a good survey that’ll cover all the necessary areas without being bias or going too shallow; the questions should be focused on the interactions with the doctors, nurses and subordinate staff. When it comes to the medical sense, patients are no experts and that’s why there are at your services. Questioning how well they prefer a certain form of medication or treatment should be avoided at all cost as these could bring in biases and irrelevancy.
The survey should also be designed to gather both for open-ended and close-ended questions. This way, it will be more practical for the patients to way options and give relevant answers at will. Customers who can be persuaded of the compassion and good intentions of the staff and doctors are more likely to follow the treatment plans. They are also more likely to refer others to get the services raving about the positive experience they received. Having a good survey structure will also go a long way in keeping the patients’ and doctors’ relationship within the expected professional boundaries.
Some of the questions to include in the survey could range from:
. How well do appointment times help in keeping track of your health?
. How can you rate the customer care services when you called to book for an appointment?
. Did the doctor/physician explain the prescription in a way that you understood?
A well designed patient satisfaction survey is undoubtedly a powerful tool in any medical environment. It supports the ultimate goal of patient care which boosts the patient’s health and overall happiness.