How do you as an organization measure healthcare patient satisfaction ? Determining the best method for requires analysis of several important factors such as the healthcare delivery system, staff workflow process and the patient setting. Let’s call these “touch points” moving forward. In this article we will discuss several of the most common healthcare touch points and match them up with state of the art patient satisfaction survey technologies now available.
First we need to define the touch point environments. For example, are you measuring patient satisfaction in an outpatient or inpatient setting? Are healthcare providers capturing real-time bedside feedback while rounding, or do you want to gather feedback at the point-of-care from an outpatient clinic or an exit survey in your pharmacies? Each of these touch points call for unique patient satisfaction measurement tools.
Common Healthcare Touch Points:
• Inpatient Feedback: When gathering patient feedback within an inpatient setting, the healthcare provider will most likely want use a mobile survey device or mobile survey app on their own personal mobile device (phone, tablet, iPad, etc.). Popular use cases for inpatient feedback are for rounding (bedside patient feedback) and at discharge. There are a number of options here – from dedicated mobile survey devices to survey apps such as an iOS survey app that can run on an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Whenever selecting a customer survey app, it’s important to make sure the app can run in online and offline modes. By online mode, we mean real-time which is critical for service recovery purposes (allowing healthcare provides to be notified in real-time when there is a service recovery issue); and offline mode meaning that when the device loses Internet connectivity that the survey app continues functioning regardless if Internet connection is lost, and most important that data is not lost but stored on the device until the Internet connection resumes.
• Outpatient Feedback: Within the outpatient setting, you have several available feedback options and perhaps a mixture of these solutions should be considered. Mobile survey devices can be a very efficient method of capturing spontaneous patient satisfaction feedback at the point-of-care within the exam room or while checking out with the staff at the front desk. Additionally, survey kiosks (which can be stand, wall or table mounted) can be used in the lobby area or near the exit. Advantages to the survey kiosk are that it requires no staff involvement and is a stand-alone solution. Often, a mixture of the two survey technologies is the best approach – combining survey kiosks with mobile survey devices. When using the survey kiosks or mobile survey devices, your survey can also capture the patient’s email address which then can be used as a follow up survey delivered by email. We refer to this approach as a mixed-mode survey approach.
• Real-time Point-of-Care Feedback: the “pain-point” we most commonly hear from healthcare providers is the delay in receiving actionable survey data. This is because there is often a significant delay from the time the patient provided the feedback to when the healthcare provider receives the survey data. This makes it difficult to be responsive to patient requests and impossible when it involves service recovery. The good news for healthcare provides is delayed survey data is no longer necessary.
With the current availability of sophisticated, cost-effective survey technologies, healthcare providers are now able to implement more effective and cost effective patient satisfaction feedback programs.