How Facilities Can Conduct Patient Experience Surveys

How to conduct Patient Experience Surveys

To improve their healthcare services, many healthcare facilities conduct patient experience surveys. That being said, simply holding a survey does not guarantee improvement in and of itself. You need to create effective and comprehensive surveys that help you gather the information you need. In addition, the facility needs to take steps to implement this feedback in a proactive and productive manner. If you are a healthcare manager looking to bolster their services, this article will cover why these surveys matter and how you can effectively implement them.

Why do facilities hold these nurse experience surveys?

All healthcare providers strive to offer the best possible care services to their patients. No matter how quality a facility or its HCPs are, there is always room for improvement. Maybe the nurses can be slightly more responsive to a patient’s needs. Something as simple as the quality of bedding may not seem like a significant factor, but in reality it has a massive impact on a patient’s quality of living and comfort. It is impossible to identify where to improve without input from the patients themselves, however.

This is why facilities regularly host patient surveys. Direct feedback allows you to identify what needs to be improved, whether it is with the amenities or care services. After all, the best way to ensure customer satisfaction is to listen to the customers directly.

How can I create my own survey?

You can create your own questionnaire from scratch, but this may leave you with a number of blindspots. To ensure that you have your bases covered, you can use a standardized, specially made questionnaire that several facilities and companies use. There are three popular templates used by hospitals nationwide: Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire, and the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems. What works best for you will depend on the nature of your facility, as well as your current needs. Alternatively, you can even use said questionnaires as templates you can modify and add to at your discretion.

What are the keys to a successful survey?

Of course, just copy and pasting a template alone is not the key to a successful patient survey. Proper distribution, analysis, and more need to supplement your efforts, in order to achieve that.

First off, you want to identify what kind of data you are collecting. If you are looking for quantitative data, create questions based on a numeric scale. If you are looking for qualitative data, provide textboxes with enough space for the correspondents to provide their answers.

Be sure to keep your questions legible and understandable. Your questionnaire could be answered by a variety of people from different age groups, backgrounds and literacy levels. Do not oversimplify, but make sure there is little room for wrong interpretations.

Make sure you are drawing from a significant enough sample. Though this will vary from case to case, typically speaking qualitative studies require larger sample bases compared to qualitative inquiries.

Of course, the key to gathering a large enough sample is making sure your survey is properly distributed. If no one can get their hands on it, they will not be able to answer. You may provide a survey form upon discharging a patient, mail a survey form to their address, or ask them to fill a survey out online.

If you go for the last option, make sure you are using a HIPAA complaint platform. In general, you have to respect the privacy and confidentiality of your correspondents. Failure to do so will put your facility in serious legal trouble.

Finally, once you have acquired a sufficient number of correspondents, be sure to interpret and analyze the data in front of you. What are common threads and concerns that can be found across multiple subjects? What are actionable ways the facility can address these in both the short and long term. Answering all these questions is the key to improving your healthcare services across the board.

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