Patient satisfaction

Patient Satisfaction Survey Best Practices

December 6, 2016
4 min read
Last updated on
Patient Satisfaction Survey Best Practices
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Patient Satisfaction Survey

Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) discovered that nearly 80 percent of the practices they identified as “better-performing” used patient satisfaction surveys. Providing customer satisfaction surveys is typical in all fields (think about the last time your phone company helped you solve a problem), it’s important for physicians to think like business owners in discovering ways to better serve the customer - your patient base. We care about solving problems effectively, that is why we’ve rounded up some best practice knowledge on creating and distributing these important pieces in your practice’s operations. Without further adue:

We recommend the following tips for crafting patient satisfaction survey questions:

  • Try keeping your surveys under 10 questions
  • Have a maximum of three open-ended questions
  • Try to set a “response rate” goal of 10-20 percent (this will vary depending on survey distribution medium)
  • Use a rating system for 75 percent of questions (example: rate your experience on a scale from 0-10)
  • Ask questions that impact the patient’s direct experience
  • Be sure not to include questions that you cannot or are incapable of changing within your practice. This may seem like common sense, but survey creators should review to ensure that the questions relate to elements that can change.

Here are 10 sample patient satisfaction survey questions:

  • Would you recommend our clinic to a family member or friend?
  • What could we have done better?
  • What else would you like to tell us about?
  • Rate your confidence in this care provider?
  • Rate how well the staff worked together to care for you?
  • How much concern did the care provider show for your questions or worries?
  • During your most recent visit, did this provider listen carefully to you?
  • Rate the friendliness/courtesy of the care provider?

According to healthcare experts, the most common topics covered in surveys are:

  • Access to care
  • Quality of care
  • Coordination of care
  • Confidence in providers
  • Appointment experience

While you are more than welcome to get started creating or revising your own patient satisfaction surveys, we at Klara believe in working smarter not harder. So to make your life easier we’ve also listed sample survey template resources for you from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Template: Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®). The CAHPS surveys ask consumers and patients to report on and evaluate their experiences with health care.

The CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey (CG-CAHPS) asks patients to report on and rate their recent experiences with clinicians and their staff.

The following links include:

  • Supplemental items that you can add to your questionnaire.
  • Guidance on administering the survey and preparing the data for analysis.
  • SAS®-based analysis programs and instructions for analyzing survey results.
  • Guidance on reporting survey results.

Compare Clinician & Group Survey Data

Using Clinician & Group Survey results submitted by survey sponsors around the country, the CAHPS Database reports aggregated data that you can use to—

  • Assess the overall performance of different kinds of physician practices and groups.
  • Analyze the performance of a single physician practice or group relative to appropriate benchmarks.

Improve Patients' Experiences with Doctors' Offices

You can use the results of a Clinician & Group Survey to identify opportunities for improvement and track progress towards goals. Resources available to inform and support the improvement process include the CAHPS Ambulatory Care Improvement Guide, recorded Webcasts, presentations, and case studies.

Report Clinician & Group Survey Scores to Consumers

The results of a Clinician & Group Survey can be shared with consumers as well as physician practices, medical groups, health plans, and other audiences. You can report—

  • Composite measures, which combine two or more related survey items into a single indicator.
  • Ratings, which represent a score on a scale of 0 to 10.

Available resources include guidance on reporting CAHPS scores to consumers, presentations, and examples of consumer-oriented reports.

One step for practice management, one giant leap for your peace of mind.

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Simon Bolz, Co-Founder, Klara

A serial entrepreneur, Simon founded two technology companies in Berlin. He then found his true passion in healthcare helping build Germany’s most innovative implantology clinic group. Simon studied at the London School of Economics, Humboldt Universität Berlin, and got a Masters at the New School for Social Research in New York. In 2013, he and Simon Lorenz, Ph.D. founded Klara with the mission to transform communication in healthcare, so every patient can receive great care.

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