To be successful in today’s competitive healthcare landscape, practices need to offer a top-notch care experience that leaves patients satisfied and engaged. If the patient experience is lacking, practices run the risk of experiencing increased churn, earning a negative reputation, and struggling to attract and retain patients.
Patient satisfaction levels have fallen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, 60 percent of healthcare consumers said they were “very satisfied” with their healthcare, compared to 73 percent before the pandemic. That’s why now more than ever, practices need to monitor patient satisfaction and identify ways to improve it.
Sending post-visit patient surveys is a great way to measure satisfaction and identify potential areas for practice improvement. However, your patient satisfaction surveys need to include the right questions to provide the insights you’re looking for. Learn the best patient satisfaction survey questions, plus important considerations to keep in mind.
7 Questions to Ask on a Patient Satisfaction Survey
Include these questions in your satisfaction surveys to gain helpful insight into the current patient experience at your practice.1. How easy was it to schedule an appointment at our practice?
Appointment scheduling is an important part of the patient journey, and a cumbersome process can greatly affect patient satisfaction at your practice. Asking about the scheduling experience will shed light on whether you should focus on making improvements, or if you’re already getting it right.2. How long (after your appointment time) did you wait to be seen?
Long wait times and waiting room backlogs are one of the biggest consumer pain points in healthcare today. Learning whether patients were satisfied or frustrated with their wait time can help you determine if you need to streamline your registration and intake processes to reduce wait times.3. How satisfied are you with the care you received during your visit?
If the care itself is lacking, the entire experience probably is—after all, that’s why patients come to your practice in the first place, right? Including this question in your patient satisfaction surveys will help you evaluate the quality of care and spot opportunities for practice improvement.4. How would you rate your experience with our practice staff?
Healthcare practice staff should be warm, friendly, and compassionate during their interactions with patients. Asking patients about their experience with practice staff will allow you to understand how your staff members are performing and whether any new policies or additional training are needed.5. How satisfied are you with the provider’s treatment recommendation?
Even if a patient says they’re satisfied with their overall experience, they might disagree with the provider’s diagnosis and/or treatment recommendation. Including this question in your satisfaction surveys will help you learn if patients are generally satisfied with their treatment plan, or if they left feeling like their concerns were not addressed.6. How likely are you to recommend our practice to family or friends?
Healthcare practices rely on recommendations to grow and attract new patients. If your patients are unlikely to recommend your practice to family, friends, and acquaintances, you likely need to reimagine the ways in which you operate and deliver care.7. What could we improve upon to offer a better care experience?
This question gives patients the opportunity to share any feedback they have about their experience with your practice. What would have made it a five-star visit if it wasn’t already? Asking this opens the door for patients to provide additional commentary on what your practice could improve upon to offer a better care experience
Key Considerations When Formulating the Best Questions for a Patient Satisfaction Survey
These questions are some of the best to include in your patient satisfaction surveys—but they’re not the only options. When crafting questions for patient satisfaction surveys, keep in mind that you should:
- Use only open-ended questions: Avoid asking questions that require only yes or no answers, which are inherently limiting and tend to provide little insight.
- Stay focused on one topic at a time: To ensure clear answers to your questions, stay focused and stick to one topic at a time. Ask follow-up questions as needed.
- Keep it short to encourage participation: Brevity is important. Keep the survey on the shorter side—ideally 10 questions or less—to encourage patients to respond.
- Be clear and word questions carefully: Clarity matters, as well. Be as clear in your wording as possible to ensure patients understand what you’re asking.
Patient satisfaction surveys enable practices like yours to provide the best care experience possible throughout each stage of their healthcare journey, from the initial appointment scheduling to the visit itself, and beyond—but of course you need the right technology to support your efforts.