Patient follow-up surveys after discharge can help monitor for problems, prevent readmissions, and grant crucial insights into patient health.
Post-discharge surveys are a great way to monitor for problems, track patients’ transitions, and prevent readmissions.
Sending follow-up surveys to patients after they are discharged lets you collect crucial information and catch potential issues at a time when patients are most vulnerable to readmission.
Based on the survey responses, healthcare staff can contact patients, provide more information, and take steps to change patient care. Keeping the survey process simple is key, though.
The simpler you can make this process for patients, the more likely they are to complete the surveys—and the more likely you are to gain impactful information that can help with patient care.
Why Send Post-Discharge Surveys?
Patient noncompliance with medical discharge instructions can cause difficulties or lead to readmission. Failure to take prescribed medications, ignoring concerning symptoms, or missing follow-up visits can all be hugely detrimental.
Sending these post-discharge surveys digitally can help mitigate those risks. With digital survey software (like Checkbox) you can automatically send surveys, feed results into patient records, and follow-up with patients. This keeps the process simple and seamless.
Considerations for Post-Discharge Surveys
Explain the Importance of the Surveys
Since gathering patient information after discharge is so crucial, it pays to convey this importance to your patients. There are many opportunities to do this.
For example, consider relaying this information to patients during their hospital visit, at discharge, on the survey itself, and/or in any correspondence after discharge.
Make sure patients understand why the surveys are coming, how to fill them out, and what happens with that information. This increases the likelihood that patients will fill out the form promptly and accurately.
Make the Surveys Easy to Complete
Getting the right information from patients is critical. Keeping the surveys easy and straightforward makes it easier to collect that information.
Consider things like: keeping the surveys short, making questions clear and personalized, and keeping the survey process simple and not too technical.
Sending—and collecting—the surveys digitally can make it simple for patients to complete. This way, patients get the surveys automatically and can fill in their information quickly and easily. (And it will automatically update their patient records, making your process easier, too.)
Get the Timing Right
Timing is important when collecting post-discharge information. Consider sending the surveys 24-48 hours after they are discharged to monitor symptoms and the transition out of hospital.
Also consider sending patient post-discharge symptom surveys within the 30 day window following discharge. This lets you continue monitoring symptoms, tracking patient health, and can help pick up issues. All of this limits the likelihood of readmission.
Respond to survey responses promptly to thank patients for their information. Responding promptly is also crucial if you have follow-up questions, need to gather more information, or if extra steps need to be taken to ensure patient care.
Post-Discharge Survey Question Examples
- After leaving the hospital, do you feel clear on the next steps for your medical care?
- Have you visited your primary care doctor since leaving the hospital?
- During your hospital stay, were diagnoses and medications clearly explained to you?
- Did hospital staff tell you who to call if you had any questions after leaving the hospital?
- Do you feel clear on which symptoms or health problems to look out for after leaving the hospital?
Check out our post-discharge survey template here.
How Checkbox can Help
At Checkbox, we make patient check-in surveys simple. How?
Ease of Use
The survey software is simple for patients and healthcare staff. Set up the survey and automatically: send it to patients for them to easily complete, update patient records, and respond promptly.
Security and Compliance
Checkbox offers HIPAA compliant survey software that is PIPEDA Ready. Run our survey software via SaaS or collect on-premises surveys/self-host. Different options allow for maximum security for your patient data.
The time following a patient discharge is vulnerable. Sending survey check-ins can help catch crucial information and prevent readmissions.
With a solid survey process, you can automatically check in on patients, monitor health, and update patient records seamlessly. The key is to keep the process simple and user friendly for patients and healthcare staff alike—to increase the likelihood of collecting the most impactful information at the most impactful time.
To see Checkbox in action for post-discharge surveys, sign up for a free trial and try out our template.