April 28, 2017
Five Ways to Improve Patient Satisfaction
- Recognize the value of patient satisfaction. These are inexpensive and priceless tools for center leaders to measure and improve their performance. If we do not know what customers need or want, how will we exceed their expectations? It is often difficult to see from the patient’s point of view and there is no better way to understand than to ask. Patient satisfaction is a critical part in a surgery center’s reputation.
- Include productive questions. Surveys should be properly formatted to elicit helpful remarks. In order to get better, one must focus on the negative feedback. While it is great for confidence to receive positive comments, a survey that evades questions that invite criticism is not doing its job. The patient survey should also address the whole patient experience from prior to surgery, during and after their visit. We want to create an entire representation of the patient experience. Always include the question “Would you recommend this facility to others?”
- Encourage patients to complete surveys. Surveys are unlikely to be completed if patients are not encouraged to fill them out. Leaders should train staff to inform patients about the survey and make it easy for them to complete and return. Introduce the survey to the patient at registration and inform them that they will receive a survey to let the center know how they are meeting their needs. Whether electronic or paper, surveys should be a simple way for the patient to share their perspective with center management. Include a stamped and addressed return envelope to streamline the process for patients. The more encouragement they receive, the more likely they are to return the survey.
- Share the results. One of the best ways to guarantee that patients’ needs translate into action is to share the results with your physicians and staff. It is equally significant to highlight what they are doing well and areas that require improvement. Leaders should hold staff and physicians responsible for improving areas that patients have identified as a need.
- Always look to improve. Like all improvements at the center, patient satisfaction continually needs enhancement. Management should regularly review patient satisfaction and answer the following questions:
- Are the questions resulting in constructive answers?
- Is there an adequate number of patients completing surveys?
- Are the staff working to make improvements based on responses?
The patient satisfaction process should be updated constantly in order to get the best feedback and improve as a center.
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