Customer satisfaction surveys are a common and important part of business in the 21st century. But not every company uses them, and part of that is because not every company sees themselves as a business. One industry where “customer” satisfaction is crucial is healthcare. Most doctors do not think of themselves as a traditional business, but in the medical industry, patient satisfaction is not only important for attracting recurring “clients”, it is also an important element of healthcare quality. And it impacts the bottom line, since patient satisfaction is one factor in reimbursement rates!
Patients are Customers Too
- What would happen if your patients have a bad experience and post a negative review online?
- What would happen if you started losing patients?
- What would happen if your patients didn’t receive the help they need?
You can see by those questions that there are two different answers. One, you’d start losing patients and your office would struggle, ultimately hurting your bottom line. Two, the patient’s health may be at risk because they aren’t willing to see you when they need to.
Seen this way, it becomes clear why patient satisfaction is so important. You need your patients to be happy because you need them to come to you whenever anything is wrong, and come back to you if they feel that their current treatment plan isn’t working.
Even if your calendar is booked for months, you need to pay attention. Low patient satisfaction takes time to impact you in a negative way, and it takes time to implement change and see results.
Using Surveys for Patient Satisfaction
PharmaLink works with many healthcare practices across the country. We’ve seen dramatic improvements in patient satisfaction at our clients simply by having them survey patients and then listen to what they say. “It’s remarkably easy it is to get candid feedback from patients,” said Jeff, the managing partner of PharmaLink. “In the healthcare world, reimbursements, referrals, patient retention, and more are all tied to patient satisfaction and yet many of our clients don’t ask the one person who knows if they’re satisfied or not – the patient.”
Patient satisfaction surveys play a crucial role in your ability to understand what the patient is experiencing in your office, from the phone call they make to schedule an appointment to the wait time to your own treatment protocol. Often patients won’t share with you when they have concerns simply because it can be uncomfortable for them to do so given provider-patient dynamics. But that can be dangerous. Even if the problem is you, you want to know that you’re not doing something as well as you could. You want to know if you’re not explaining the diagnosis well, or dismissing something they’ve said, or not showcasing a patient-first attitude. And if it’s not you, but some other employee within your company, you want to know that too. Patient satisfaction surveys allow you to collect data that you can analyze to ensure your business is running smoothly.
Survey research is a great way to track how patients feel and run your doctor’s office like a business. Here at PharmaLink we use SurveyMethods for our online surveys and recommend you take a look at what they have to offer. Their survey software is easy to set up and use, and provides actionable, real-time insights. You can get a 7-day free trial of a full-featured Professional account, or use the free version for simple surveys.