Using Patient Satisfaction Surveys

February 23, 2018

Do you know how happy your patients are? The best way to find out is to ask them.

Patient satisfaction surveys are gaining popularity among physicians for that very reason. A patient satisfaction survey is short, anonymous and custom-designed for a practice based on their needs and services provided. Providing patients with a simple survey after an office visit gives physicians insight to the level of their patient’s happiness, quality of care provided and areas where the practice has room to improve.

Physicians are busy people, meaning they likely don’t have time to reach out to every patient and discuss their personal experience at their practice. Patients may also be hesitant to provide their feedback to the physician directly. Surveys give them a chance to do it privately and at their own convenience.

Creating and distributing surveys should be quick and cost effective.  With several ways to administer patient satisfaction surveys, online surveys are tending to be the most efficient. While mailing surveys to patients directly, providing them in-office or phone call surveys are also options, they but don’t have the added benefit of automated analytic tracking.

Hosting surveys online allows the option to automate distribution, get real-time feedback and collects data in one place for easy analysis. Most online surveys are also optimized for mobile use, making them very convenient for patients to access via smartphones or tablets.

The data is a great way to measure your performance over time and maintain a record of feedback provided by patients. It will show you the specific areas of your practice which have strengths and weaknesses. By achieving certain patient satisfaction ratings, organizations can meet national accreditation and compliance standards. An example would be Value-Based Purchasing initiatives in which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) not only pays for the number of services provided by a physician but also for providing high quality services.

Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) surveys are created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and allow you to compare your practice against others nation-wide.CMS requires that healthcare providers use CAHPS® surveys and approved vendors to participate in their programs. These surveys are a huge part of the efforts of CMS to improve the quality of healthcare in the United States. You can learn more about the survey requirements on the CMS website.