Long before people get sick or injured, many develop a distinct opinion about which hospital they would choose if they ever needed it. While the location of the hospital may be a factor, many are willing to drive across town or even further to get the care they have come to expect from their hospital of choice. So if you’re a hospital administrator, what do you do to get patients to choose your facility over others in the area? It all comes down to keeping patients happy. More hospitals are finding out what it takes by conducting patient satisfaction surveys.
More Than Quality of Care
A good patient survey looks at many factors besides the quality of care that the patient receives. Other things to consider are the cleanliness of the facility, the way that billing is handled, the quality of the food, the behavior of the physicians and other hospital staff, customer service issues such as helpfulness and wait times, ethical issues, and even the setup of the hospital website. All of these things are addressed in the best patient satisfaction surveys.
While some patients are very forthcoming about their experiences with their hospital, relying on this feedback alone does not give an adequate picture of how the public in general sees the facility or how patients view their overall experience.
The Full Scope
It is essential to use expert resources to develop truly effective patient surveys. Each survey should be custom-designed to address the needs and concerns of a specific organization by behavioral psychologists. Behavioral psychologists are able to quickly get to the core of what patients expect and need from their hospital while keeping survey lengths reasonable. Depending on what information is most pressing, surveys can focus on things such as bedside manner, hospital image, or the level of professionalism within the facility.
Each patient satisfaction survey should be available in various formats, including online, on the phone, or on paper, giving patients the flexibility to give feedback in the way that works best for them. This increases the response rate and the reliability of the results.
Once the patient survey is completed, medical care facility administrators should also have guidance in terms of what steps need to be taken next to improve processes. This will define the needs of the hospital and help the facility develop actionable steps that translate into higher levels of patient satisfaction, more recommendations and, ultimately, a higher revenue stream for the hospital. Armed with this information, facilities can further develop their vision and shape their organizations into what they want them to be.
Health care analysis doesn’t stop with patient satisfaction surveys. There are also surveys to determine the loyalty and satisfaction of physicians and other staff, which can be used to reduce turnover and provide a comfortable and consistent experience for everyone concerned.
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