Patient surveys: Questions and examples

Use patient surveys to prioritize how to improve the experiences of those in your care and better the medical system.

Start using patient surveys with SurveyPlanet

At SurveyPlanet, we take pride in helping you provide better care to patients. This includes not handing out patient surveys in person any longer. Patients can fill them out when they have the time and from the comfort of their homes.

With three simple plans, SurveyPlanet can fulfill the needs of both small practices and large healthcare institutions. No matter which plan is chosen, it will include SSL security, unlimited surveys and responses, and a slew of healthcare and patient survey templates. Sign up for an account and explore the possibilities of pre-made patient survey templates, question branching, powerful analytics, and easy export.

The importance of patient satisfaction surveys

From the moment a patient sets foot in the waiting room of a healthcare institution, everything that happens influences their experience. Patient satisfaction surveys can provide insights about what happens not just in the exam room but everything else as well. From accessibility to the friendliness of office staff to doctors, patients form opinions on everything, including facility management, service quality, and procedures. If you want your practice to grow and provide top-notch medical care, it’s crucial to know what patients think.

Healthcare surveys offer a chance to assess every part of a healthcare institution, from the opinions of employees to the lifestyle habits of patients. Patient surveys let you collect and analyze feedback and optimize care accordingly. Whether measuring overall patient satisfaction or the performance of individual doctors, patient surveys are the way to go.

Best practices for patient experience surveys

Before beginning, it’s important to keep some things in mind to get accurate feedback and high response rates. These best practices will get you up to speed:

  • Write straightforward questions without using too much medical jargon.
  • Be sure your survey complies with HIPAA regulations (and while SurveyPlanet takes security very seriously, it is not HIPAA compliant).
  • Increase patient engagement by transparently telling patients why their responses matter and how completing the survey will benefit them.
  • Focus on one goal at a time. We recommend starting with one or two patient survey templates and prioritizing what to measure. This can be a patient satisfaction survey or a hospital visit survey—whatever you feel is most important.
  • Combine various types of questions, including multiple-choice, essay, scale, and ranges. Keep in mind that too many open-ended questions can overwhelm respondents, making it harder to analyze responses.

How to distribute patient surveys

It’s not enough to create an amazing patient survey. It’s also vital to strategically distribute it to patients in order to get a higher response rate. We recommend sending an email with the link to the survey. But what other steps can ensure they take the time to fill it out?

  • While still in your healthcare facility, confirm that a patient’s email address is up to date.
  • Inform patients that you’ll send out a survey and explain why their responses matter and will create change.
  • Don’t make lengthy surveys, since this overwhelms patients and decreases the response rate. Try to keep the completion time under five minutes. Using SurveyPlanet’s survey length estimate will provide an estimate of how much time it will take respondents to finish your survey. Learn more with our blog on how long your survey should be.
  • Send patient feedback surveys one or two days after their visit while it’s still fresh in a patient’s mind. This will help you get better feedback.

With these tricks up your sleeve, successfully distribute patient surveys with a high response rate that will deliver statistically significant results.

What to do with the data

Once you have all the data, the information you’ve collected can be overwhelming—including some that may come as a surprise. But it’s important to remember why the survey was conducted in the first place. Patient experience surveys help a health organization better care for patients and build a stronger brand in the community.

If additional help with analyzing collected survey data is needed, we recommend our Ultimate Guide To Survey Data Collection, in which practical examples and methods that will ease this process can be found.

Once patients’ feedback has been better understood, it’s time to act on it. Patient satisfaction surveys can also be used to boost morale among employees while also helping with unresolved issues.

Share the results of the patient satisfaction questionnaire with employees during staff meetings. Celebrate great feedback while planning ways to solve any problems and service quality issues that were discovered.

This process should not be restricted to medical staff only. Other employees have a big impact on the patient experience, day in and day out. Patient satisfaction comes from the overall experience with the institution—from the moment the patient pulls into the parking lot.

Patient experience survey questions examples

If patients are happy, you're doing a great job! If not, it’s time to better understand their experiences. This is how patient feedback can help you figure out ways to introduce service quality improvements.

Patients will be more likely to refer you to others if they have a good experience. These patient satisfaction survey question examples are designed to help you discover essential aspects of patients’ thinking regarding their experience with your services.

With patient experience survey questions, better understand how to satisfy your patients. Here are some patient satisfaction survey questions examples you can use to elevate your service to the next level, which will improve patient experiences:

  1. Please state your satisfaction with booking an appointment at our medical facility.
  2. How long did it take to get initial assistance?
  3. Did you have any issues setting up an appointment?
  4. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the professionalism of our staff?
  5. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the time a doctor spent with you?
  6. Is this the facility you usually visit in case of an emergency?
  7. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your healthcare provider when conducting a diagnosis?
  8. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the overall care provided by our medical personnel?
  9. Are you satisfied with your healthcare provider regarding coming to a diagnosis?
  10. Are you satisfied with your healthcare provider regarding prescribed medications?

Patient survey questions and templates

We’ve prepared some patient survey example questions that can be used to get immediate feedback from patients:

  1. Please briefly describe any chronic illnesses or ailments that you have.
  2. Please indicate how much you agree with the following statements (from 1-5) about your most recent hospital visit.
  3. Would you recommend this hospital to your family and friends?
  4. Did the hospital staff thoroughly explain your treatment options?
  5. Please rate the experience of booking appointments from 1 (very easy) to 7 (very difficult).
  6. In your opinion, what are some things we could improve?
  7. How would you rate the hygiene at our facility?
  8. How satisfied are you with your current insurance plan?
  9. How frequently have you visited our healthcare institution in the last two years?
  10. How would you rate our staff’s empathy towards you?

Although patient satisfaction surveys are one of the most important methods for gathering patient feedback, they can be time-consuming and difficult to manage. Fortunately, there are tools available to help improve efforts to collect information and learn which areas of your practice need improvement.

One such tool is our pre-made patient survey templates that can be accessed as soon as you sign up for a SurveyPlanet account. Creating surveys with SurveyPlanet is fast and easy—and with the Pro plan, you can also upload images and easily export results in any preferred format. With patient surveys' actionable insights, you’ll know exactly what patients need and expect from you.

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