Your patients are crucial to your medical practice, and your business survival depends on your practice being able to meet their expectations. It’s surprising how many medical practices don’t have feedback integrated into their patient management system – these practices could be missing out on insights that could improve their patients’ experience and make them even more profitable.
Collecting feedback also lets your patients know that you care what they think, and you want them to have a good experience. It demonstrates that you’re genuinely interested in understanding them better and meeting their needs, which can potentially boost patient loyalty.
Patient feedback may feel like something you just don’t have time to do, but it doesn’t have to be onerous or time consuming. You can set up a process in your patient management system to make collecting feedback quick and relatively painless.
How to collect patient feedback
There are a few different ways you can potentially collect patient feedback in your practice. Some are more time consuming than others, and what works for you will depend on what you’re hoping to get out of it and how much time and energy you want to invest in hearing from your patients. Here are a few suggestions:
- Online feedback. Online surveys or questionnaires are easy to implement and once you’ve set them up they can pretty much run themselves. Many practices set up a SMS to be sent to patients after an appointment with a link to the survey. Another way to collect feedback online is through an integrated app that collects and manages patient feedback. These apps can also collate information and give you insights to help you understand your survey results and take action accordingly.
- Over the phone. Phone surveys might seem time consuming, but they can be a good option for less tech savvy patients or those who prefer not to complete an online questionnaire. With phone surveys you can also discuss the feedback and find ways to resolve any negative comments at the time, which can help with patient satisfaction and build stronger relationships.
- Focus groups. A focus group might seem a bit much for most practices, but they can be useful if you’re considering making serious changes to your services and want to understand how this will be viewed by your patients. If you’re not experienced at running focus groups, it may be helpful to bring in an outside facilitator for this.
Whatever way you collect patient feedback, it’s important to tailor the questions so they’re relevant to the patient’s experience. It’s also important to deal with any issues or negative feedback effectively and quickly – otherwise you run the risk of patients getting even more frustrated and ultimately going elsewhere.
Collecting patient feedback doesn’t have to be time consuming, it can be automated into your patient management system. With regular feedback you can more easily see where your practice is doing well at meeting patient expectations and where there is room for improvement. This can help you improve your quality of patient care, build stronger bonds with your patients and even improve your practice’s profitability.