Patient surveys can help you get the inside scoop on your healthcare brand's customer experience. Getting your patients' perspectives can help to better the quality of your care and increase overall satisfaction. This may sound great, but perfecting your patient surveys and setting reasonable expectations for the insight they will provide can be difficult. 

A finely tuned customer survey will leave you with the valuable insight you need to improve your hospital or clinic. Check out these four key takeaways you should be getting from your survey efforts.

1. Quality of Care

One of the most valuable pieces of insight that can be pulled from patient surveys is the patient's view of the quality of the care they received. Patients often fail to speak their minds about their frustrations during their visits, and patient surveys allow them to voice these frustrations in a place where they know their voices will be heard. 

When putting together questions for your patient surveys, be sure to include quality-of-care questions, such as: 

  • How satisfied are you with the quality of the care you received during your stay?
  • How helpful, caring and understanding were the hospital staff and physicians during your stay?

2. Access to Care

Your healthcare system's processes and procedures may seem straightforward to the staff that work with them every day, but they can be far more difficult to understand for a first-time patient. Your patient survey is an excellent place to gain an understanding of the obstacles and potential pitfalls your patients face on their journeys to better health. 

When putting together questions for your patient surveys, be sure to include access-to-care questions, such as: 

  • How difficult was it to schedule an appointment to see us?
  • What would your preferred method be to book an appointment in the future?

3. Patient Satisfaction

Some patients may be dissatisfied following an appointment, regardless of the quality of the care they received or how easy it was to access that care. It is important to have more general satisfaction questions included in your survey to ensure you accurately gauge the satisfaction of these patients.

When putting together questions for your patient surveys, be sure to include patient-satisfaction questions, such as: 

  • How would you rate your overall experience?
  • How likely would you be to recommend us to a friend?

4. Physician Performance

All too often, patients can give negative reviews of their experiences based exclusively on the interactions they had with their physicians. To avoid this trend, and to gain an understanding of which physicians may need to improve their bedside manners, you'll want to add physician-performance questions to your patient surveys. 

When putting together questions for patient surveys, be sure to include physician-performance questions, such as: 

  • How well do you feel your doctor listened to your concerns?
  • How caring, understanding and helpful do you feel your doctor was during your stay?

Patient surveys provide a roadmap for resource allocation, areas of success and areas that need improvement. Failing to target and categorize your patient survey questions can result in data that seems unhelpful and random. By breaking the questions in your patient surveys down into key categories, you'll begin to form a picture of how your institution is doing and the steps needed to continue improving.

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