6 Key Tips to Creating Exceptional Patient Satisfaction Surveys

In this article, we'll show you how to create insightful patient satisfaction surveys

Published
11.28.2023
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6 Key Tips to Creating Exceptional Patient Satisfaction Surveys

6 Key Tips to Creating Exceptional Patient Satisfaction Surveys
In this article, we'll show you how to create insightful patient satisfaction surveys

Source: Pexels

Customer satisfaction surveys are an important way to improve any business. However, when it comes to patient satisfaction surveys, things can be tricky. 

Patients came to you due to a health issue, a concern, or a regular checkup. No matter how minor the reason was, it still relates to their health, and asking the wrong type of questions can feel intrusive.

This article will give you six key tips that will help you create exceptional patient satisfaction surveys. They will help you approach patients the right way, collecting valuable feedback while simultaneously respecting their privacy and improving patient satisfaction.

Tip #1: Be clear about your survey objectives

Before writing any survey questions, you first want to make sure you know what you want to accomplish with the survey in the first place. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

What exactly do I want to find out?

Clearly defining what you want to find out from your patients will help you create a concise and direct survey. 

This will not only save patients' time but will also ensure you interfere with their privacy as little as possible, also improving patient satisfaction.

Who can tell me what I want to know?

After defining what you want to find, you should think through the patient group best suited for your survey. Here, you should think about who can give me the right type of answer rather than who can give me an answer. This will narrow down your survey to patients who can provide actionable feedback, and you won't bother the rest.

What is the purpose of the information I am about to collect?

Knowing precisely what you want to accomplish with the answers is vital, as you don't want to ask questions for the sake of it – the goal is to act upon the collected feedback. This can be anything from improving the booking procedure all the way to the treatments themselves.

Tip #2: Find out what information is currently being collected

After setting a clear survey goal, it's essential to get as much information as possible from the patient data you already own.

This can be the information collected from the patient interactions and the questionnaires they have completed when booking the appointments.

The data will help you better understand the patient's position and allow you to double-check everything and ensure you are sending patient satisfaction surveys at the right time.

For example, if someone just received scan results and is awaiting further evaluations, asking them about their experiences at this time is not the best idea. Not only will they feel unpleasant, as they are anticipating results that concern their health, but they are about to have further contact with your facility and staff, making their experience incomplete.

Tip #3: Use simple language and terminology

Using simple language and terminology in collecting feedback (or anything related to the brand, marketing, and sales) is recommended for any business but matters even more, when it comes to anything medicine-related.

If your patients don't understand your questions, they won't be able to give you quality feedback. Even worse, if they are supposed to rate something they don't understand, they will just click on an answer to continue to the next question, giving you misleading information. If this happens too often, your whole survey might become useless.

Plus, patients will feel annoyed when faced with the terminology they can't understand. This is not only bad for the overall customer experience (patient satisfaction surveys are also a touchpoint with your company), it will affect other answers that follow the question they didn't comprehend.

You are not collecting feedback from colleague doctors but from patients who came to get medicinal help and have different backgrounds and levels of education. Therefore, avoid medicinal terminology. Make the questions straightforward, and the patient satisfaction survey results will be much more accurate.

Tip #4: Provide options for feedback

Keeping questions targeted to a specific patient category yet straightforward and easy to understand is important, but you should always leave room for more feedback.

You can do this whenever you offer premade answers to patients they are supposed to click on – offer "other" as an answer option too. When patients tick the "other" box, prompt them with a field where they can write their comments.

You can do the same at the end of the entire patient satisfaction survey, allowing patients to express their opinion. However, if the survey is lengthy or has different logical parts, you can offer "Please share any further comments you might have" at the end of each section.

This will allow patients to leave their remarks and give you insights about your business you weren't aware of. If you only give them premade answers, without the option to put in additional comments, patients will click the option that is the closest to their opinion. However, being the closest to them is much different from actually expressing their opinion – that is what quality feedback is all about.

Tip #5: Don't include questions that are too sensitive

Health is a sensitive issue on its own, and asking questions about it can be a slippery slope. After all, the patients came to you for diagnostics and treatment, not an interrogation. Therefore it matters which questions you ask and how you ask them.

First and foremost, avoid questioning patients about anything related to their conditions, especially the outcomes. This is especially critical if the patient comes to you due to a severe health issue and not just for a routine checkup. If a person is going through a challenging period, your job is to show empathy and leave the patient satisfaction survey for another time.

Instead of asking questions directly related to a patient's health, you can get many valuable answers about your business. You can ask them how they would rate the experience with your staff, how easy it was to navigate the facilities, and how long they waited to get treatment. 

Those kinds of questions are safe for any type of patient. As for the more intimate ones, it's up to you to assess the situation and ensure the patient won't get offended.

Also, give patients an option not to answer a question if they feel it is too intrusive. This is ethical and will hint that you are pushing too far with your patient satisfaction survey and that you should step back and take a different approach.

Tip #6: Ask the right questions

The last step should be coming up with the patient satisfaction questions themselves. To do this, go through the steps above, but also consider using a survey tool like Checkbox.

Survey apps will help you build your patient satisfaction survey and incorporate brand elements without having to do everything manually. Checkbox has a whole list of tools you can use to poll patients and get as much actionable data collected as possible. Here are some:

Rating scales

Rating scales are a classic way of asking customer satisfaction questions, letting you instantly collect feedback. Use these to collect general customer satisfaction ratings, such as:

  • The overall rating of the facilities hyine
  • The overall rating of the staff's professionalism
  • How often do patients visit private hospitals per year on average
  • How convenient is the location and accessibility (parking, wheelchair ramps, etc.)

Radio buttons

A radio button is a great option when patients need to select a single answer from a list. These can be:

  • Their current healthcare providers and health insurance plans
  • City district they live in
  • How did they hear about your clinic
  • How many days it took to get the test results

Multi-line text

This type of question will allow you to collect more in-depth patient feedback regarding patient experiences and opinions. Patients will have the opportunity to leave longer answers and cover broader topics that often get missed in other premade fields and question classes. Here are some good questions to ask using multi-line text:

  • Where can we improve?
  • Do you have any recommendations for us to make the patient experience better?
  • Did we fail to answer some of your questions or concerns? Don't hesitate to share which ones.

Net promoter score

Net promoter score is a simple patient satisfaction questionnaire yet ideal option to ask your patients to rate the experience overall and to share how likely they are to recommend your clinic to others.

Drop-down lists

This type of list is a good option for questions with only one answer. For example, you can use this to segment patients taking the survey into groups or gather other information about them. Here's what you can ask using drop-down lists:

  • How did you find out about us?
  • How many times do you visit a hospital per year on average?

Checkboxes

Checkboxes are ideal for getting rapid patient feedback on a given topic, as patients can tick multiple answers. Here's what you can ask:

  • Questions about the booking process (was it simple, how long it took, was it easy to schedule a follow-up appointment, were they able to find the desired health plans from their healthcare providers and healthcare services)
  • Questions about the quality of medical service and medical staff (were staff members professional and empathetic, did they answer all of the questions, were they satisfied with the level of nursing care)
  • Questions about the facility (how would they rate the level of hygiene and the hospital environment, was it easy to find parking, was it complicated to navigate the facility and find the right office)

Patient satisfaction survey template

Here is a sample Patient Satisfaction Survey template:

  1. Overall, how satisfied were you with your experience at our clinic?

Please rate on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being "not satisfied" and 5 being "very satisfied".

  1. Did you feel that your medical needs were adequately addressed during your visit?

Please rate on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being "not satisfied" and 5 being "very satisfied".

  1. Did you feel that the medical staff was knowledgeable and helpful?

Please rate on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being "not satisfied" and 5 being "very satisfied".

  1. Did you feel that the waiting time was reasonable?

Please rate on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being "not satisfied" and 5 being "very satisfied".

  1. Did you feel that the clinic was clean and well-maintained?

Please rate on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being "not satisfied" and 5 being "very satisfied".

  1. Did you feel that the clinic staff was friendly and attentive to your needs?

Please rate on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being "not satisfied" and 5 being "very satisfied".

  1. Would you recommend our clinic to friends and family?

Please rate on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being "not likely" and 5 being "very likely".

  1. Is there anything that you would like to see improved or changed at our clinic?

Please provide any suggestions or feedback in the space below.

Thank you for taking the time to complete our patient satisfaction survey. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and will help us to improve our services and provide the best possible care to our patients.

Have a look here to see how a patient satisfaction survey would look like directly in Checkbox.

Bottom line

When done right, patient satisfaction survey can really be a goldmine of information that can help you significantly improve patient satisfaction. That's why taking a strategic approach and developing patient satisfaction surveys that ask the right questions at the right time without going too far into patients' intimacy is vital. It will lead to providing patient centered care and growing your business as a whole, turning you into one of the leading healthcare providers in your area.

Checkbox is a veteran in the survey-builder industry and is the right tool to help you create unique and in-depth patient satisfaction surveys helping you easily measure patient satisfaction and improve health care quality at your facilities. Try Checkbox for free now, and see why thousands of businesses have used our surveys as a foundation of their customer feedback collection for over 20 years.

FAQ

What is a patient satisfaction survey?

A patient satisfaction survey collects feedback from patients regarding their experience with a medical institution. Their goal is measuring patient satisfaction, improving patient experience and the level of health care in your hospital environment, and growing your business as a whole.

What should I ask in a patient satisfaction survey?

You can ask patients questions about their overall satisfaction with the institution, specific hospital staff members, organization, hygiene, the level of quality health care received, patient perceptions, appointment scheduling, pricing, wait times, etc. As long as the question doesn't go too deeply into the patient's privacy, it is good to go. Always leave patients an option to skip questions if they find them too intrusive.

What are 6 sample questions for a practice patient survey?

There are so many different questions you can ask your patients when collecting feedback in order to make health care quality improvement, but if we only have to choose six, those would be:

  • Were you satisfied with the doctors assigned to you?
  • How long did you wait to see a doctor after checking in at the reception?
  • How happy are you with the overall treatment and the level of health care?
  • Were hospital personnel empathetic, and did they answer all of your questions?
  • How likely are you to recommend us to family and friends?
  • Where do you think we can improve the most?

How can patient satisfaction be measured?

The best of measuring patient satisfaction is through patient satisfaction surveys. When constructed well, surveys will guide patients to express their opinions hassle-free, leading to valuable data and insights you can later use to improve future patient experiences.

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