We’re continuing our series on measuring patient satisfaction, and getting specific about actions you can take. If you missed part one, click here.
Specifically, there are 10 key improvements to measuring patient satisfaction that can improve accuracy, ensure high-quality patient care, and protect your reimbursement:
1. Leverage multiple methods to administer your surveys (for example, paper-and-pencil, online, mobile, kiosk). This will not only increase response but also broaden the representativeness of your data.
2. Gather real-time information, so you not only ensure your data are timely but also facilitate service recovery.
3. Collect and analyze patient satisfaction data you use internally, to ensure continuous process improvement and protect your reimbursement.
4. Use these internal surveys in departments throughout your hospital, so that (a) patients receive short, focused, specific surveys and (b) all units in your hospital can obtain timely, relevant feedback.
5. Offer patients incentives to complete these surveys. Doing so can increase dramatically the proportion of patients who participate; the benefits of doing so far outweigh the modest financial cost.
6. Report these data and the action items to relevant departments.
7. Include in your internal surveys data that you can use to market your hospital effectively. These include general and specific satisfaction measures, testimonials, and online reviews, the “social proof” that can prove critical in maintaining patient volume.
8. Develop and implement a mechanism to invite patients or family members who are satisfied to leave online reviews, to increase your stock of positive reviews. Far too many hospitals have only negative reviews and may be frighteningly unaware of the implications this has for their patient volume.
9. Use your internal data to develop and implement relevant strategic initiatives in your hospital or practice.
10. Continue to implement these measures and constantly refine your system, so that you continually control and improve service quality.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of healthcare consumerism is the fact that consumers are likely to solicit information about their health not only from such online sources as Healthgrades but also from other consumers, through blogs, online reviews, and forums that give them other patients’ perspectives about treatment and quality care.
Consumers, therefore, now have the power to impact the choices other consumers make: They can either promote your hospital, by serving as a brand advocate and “referral generator,” or hurt your hospital by posting negative, potentially harmful information about its products and services.
What’s one thing you do to ensure you’re keeping a pulse on your hospital’s social proof?