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7 Tips for Conducting Healthcare Surveys

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Take a step back: What are your patients thinking? Are their needs being met, or is there something that could be done differently? Asking these questions through healthcare surveys is what understanding patient experience is all about.

Understanding Patient Experience with Healthcare Surveys

Understanding patient experience is a crucial part of any healthcare organization and their ability to effectively improve different aspects of their facility.

To know what’s working and what isn’t, you need to hear from your patients directly. Learning about their satisfaction in terms of the many different aspects involved in their experience is important!

Healthcare surveys are one of the best ways to get a pulse on how patients are feeling and what their experience with your healthcare facility might look like. They help you learn about making improvements around things like safety, employee engagement, comfortability, and more.

This can be incredibly effective as your organization seeks to improve and grow.

To help you get started, we’ve collected seven of our best tips you can use to start conducting your healthcare surveys!

Determine your healthcare surveys goals

Putting intention behind your healthcare surveys is a major part of getting the most out of them.

Think about what you want to achieve from the results of your survey.

Is it to learn more about the perception of the atmosphere in your healthcare facility? Or how patients feel towards their experience with doctors and nurses?

Determining the goals of your healthcare survey will help you to collect relevant information and help you to achieve those goals.

Create a plan for distribution

How you choose to distribute your survey can make a big difference in whether or not patients will actually participate in it.

For example, if you need your survey to be answered in a time sensitive manner you could provide your survey to patients on a tablet as they wait for their appointment.

For less time sensitive surveys, you could distribute them through something like email or social media. The key in delivering your survey is to make the process as easy as possible for participants.

Prioritize question order

Use your more basic and simple questions at the beginning of your survey. This will help participants to not feel overwhelmed right as they dive into taking the survey. It also sets the tone for the questions to come.

Be sure to put questions that are related to one another close together so your participants can focus. You don’t want them to feel like the survey bounces around from topic to topic.

Choose your words carefully

The last thing you want is for your survey participants to be unclear on what it is you’re asking. Skip the fancy jargon and eliminate any potential for ambiguity.

Be as specific as possible when it comes to asking your questions. For example, instead of asking if the patient drinks water often, instead ask specifically about how many glasses they drink a day.

This will not only help them to answer the question, it will help you to collect the most detailed answers as possible.

Offer anonymity and confidentiality features

Some patients may be hesitant to answer your survey if they aren’t sure it’s anonymous and confidential. You’re likely to get answers to questions that otherwise might be embarrassing or hard to answer if you clearly state the survey is anonymous.

Swift polling provides the option to ask anonymous questions in your surveys which is great for improving the quality and quantity of your answers. Patients will feel more at ease answering your questions while also being able to provide honest answers.

Go easy on open-ended questions

You can choose whether or not to use open-ended questions, but it will be best to use these questions sparingly. Since open-ended questions require a bit more time and thought by the patient, they are more likely to get skipped.

Of course, the use of open-ended questions will depend on your desired goals. Consider a mix of question types as a part of your approach.

7 Tips for Conducting Healthcare Surveys

Give thought to question types

Again, there should always be intention behind your survey, and that includes your question types!

Avoid any loaded or leading questions that could cause bias in answers. Use questions that are as neutral as possible so you don’t influence any respondent answers.

Double-barreled questions are also a question type to be careful with. If you’re to ask a question that requires two answers, such as two ‘yes or no’ questions, then it might be best to split these questions up.

Conducting Your Healthcare Surveys

Your next step towards delivering great healthcare surveys is finding a platform that is both functional and easy to use. Patients will be even more inclined to participate in your survey when it’s accessible and obstacle free to participate in.

Set up your questions using our best practices and you’ll be well on your way to gaining valuable patient feedback!

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