You could survey your patients using standard paper forms or cards. However, regardless of whether you give them out at the visit or you mail them to patients, you're still asking them to remember to answer your questions and return the cards to you later.
Plus, in order to get anything out of the survey, you need someone to input and interpret responses. Chances are, you staff is already pretty busy and may not have time for additional data entry.
What other options are available?
How about using an interactive touchscreen kiosk to survey your patients? The kiosk might be located where patients check out so they can give a final overview of their visit. Pose questions about the friendliness of your staff, efficiency, simplicity, and ask for feedback on areas you could improve. You'll have instant access to the answers and everything can be calculated for you. This method might take some investment up front but you'll likely get better response because it's easier and quicker, and patients can answer while the visit is still fresh in their minds.
Another way to quickly survey patients is with a text message poll. If you're looking for short, simple answers, a text message survey might work well. Simply instruct your patient to text their answer to your survey. For example: "On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "too long" and 5 being "very short," how was your wait time at our office today? Text your answer to 12345." There are many companies that specialize in helping create text message survey campaigns, and some of them even offer free DIY plans.
If you have your patients' email addresses and they have opted to receive non-confidential communications via email from your office, try sending out a brief email survey. As long as you limit it to 2 or 3 short, simple questions, and patients are able to answer via their smartphone, they're likely to participate.
Once Your Survey Is Done
You probably have a lot of data to look at, as well as some basic ideas of what your patients think about your facility. The next step to improving patient satisfaction is to act! Figure out where your patients see problems, and work on fixing them.
How to Address the Most Common Complaint -- Long Wait Time
Did your patients mention their wait time seemed very long? A stack of old magazines doesn't cut it in today's electronic world. Think about adding some digital signage to your waiting room, to keep patients entertained and informed with seasonal health tips, regional medical information, fun facts, or news.
A "branded screen" allows for a cable signal, and can also include weather, a news ticker, special offers, and other useful information for your patients. Offer Wi-Fi so they can surf the web their smartphones. Even overhead music, if implemented properly, can help pass the time.
If you'd like additional ideas for improving your waiting room for patients, give us a call at 800-584-4653 or contact us here. We work with medical facilities of all sizes and we would be happy to suggest some ways to make that wait a little less frustrating!
(Image courtesy of debspoons at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)