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Healthcare

To Improve Patient Satisfaction, Ask More Questions

Satisfaction surveys are a hospital’s most important tool when it comes to gaining insight into and improving the patient experience. The new value-based system of healthcare demands that hospitals utilize this powerful feedback method – and put it to good use.
Sarah Diamond
Written by Sarah Diamond

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Leaders in the healthcare industry know that patient engagement and satisfaction are crucial to growth and sustainability. In fact, one of the top reasons patients choose not to return to a hospital after treatment is bad service and lack of attention on staff’s part.

You may think that your patient’s experience relies solely on the way your staff handles those interactions, but the truth is: if your doctors and nurses aren’t happy – neither are the people they are treating.

So how do you create an environment where both staff and patients can thrive?

 

Why gathering feedback matters

Satisfaction surveys are a hospital’s most important tool when it comes to gaining insight into and improving the patient experience.

Although these surveys sometimes get overshadowed by larger initiatives, the new value-based system of healthcare demands that hospitals utilize this powerful feedback method – and put it to good use.

A well thought out survey can yield numerous opportunities for change and streamlined operations. In addition, it can help hospital leaders drill-down on offerings and services that aren’t adding value and create programs that do.

 

How to implement a patient or staff satisfaction survey

Get the buy-in

Nurturing happy nurses and doctors by gathering (and valuing) their opinions in one department is good but encouraging other departments to follow suit is better for the hospital entirely.

Getting your fellow leaders on board will help you meet your departmental goals and start the journey toward a better hospital experience overall. In order to do this, you’ll need to present a sound business case that shows how the patient experience directly impacts your hospital’s bottom line.

Think: How much value would a positive referral bring? How much does a negative review on social media/internet cost the organization? How much are you losing with declining patient retention?

 

Start with a strategy

Now that you have a good idea of how poor patient experience negatively impacts your organization, the next thing you’ll want to do is come up with a strategy to tackle it.

However, your strategy must first start with your survey. You’ll want to understand exactly what you’re doing wrong and how you can improve before you start implementation.

Tip: It’s recommended that you try an online poll or digital voting solution to get answers quickly. This way you can frame your survey and collect all of your answers in one place.

 

Address the issues

Once you’ve implemented your satisfaction survey, you’ll want to assess your findings in-depth. This is known as a Root Cause Analysis.

Why did your patients and staff answer the way they did? Are your findings something you’re aware of? Or did they surprise you?

Get to the bottom of those responses diligently. Once you identify possible root causes, you’ll want to assign the corrective action to the right stakeholder – but not without ensuring they are qualified to complete it successfully.

Tip: As you are mapping tasks to individuals, be sure to have a turnaround time in mind, and be cognizant of any potential training opportunities for improvement.

 


 

There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to optimizing your hospital’s processes and improving engagement scores.

A satisfaction survey may seem like a small detail in the larger scheme of your organization’s operations, however, implementing it the right way will enable you to shift your hospital in the right direction.

To learn more about how you can use our online voting system to measure performance and gather feedback, click here.

Originally published Jul 10, 2018, updated 1531229996286

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