Patient Satisfaction Surveys: Questions and Examples

Elevate patient satisfaction in healthcare with targeted patient satisfaction surveys. Our patient templates guide you to better healthcare outcomes.

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How to create patient satisfaction surveys with SurveyPlanet

At SurveyPlanet, we take pride in helping healthcare providers deliver better care to patients.

With three simple plans, SurveyPlanet can fulfill the surveying 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 to explore the possibilities of pre-made patient survey templates, question branching, powerful analytics, and easy export.

And today, handing out patient surveys in person is no longer the norm. Patients can fill out questionnaires when they have the time and from the comfort of their homes.

The importance of patient satisfaction surveys in healthcare

From the moment a patient sets foot in the waiting room, everything that happens influences their experience. Patient satisfaction surveys provide insights about not just what happens in the exam room but everywhere else as well. From accessibility to the friendliness of office staff to doctors, patients have opinions about everything, including facility management, service quality, and procedures. If you want a 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, including the opinions of employees and the lifestyle habits of patients. 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.

HCAHPS survey questions: Hospital consumer assessment of healthcare

The HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey is a standardized survey and data collection methodology that measures the perspectives of patients about their hospital experience.

Here are the 29 HCAHPS questions divided into eight groups:

  1. Quality of nurse care
    • During this hospital stay, how often did nurses treat you with courtesy and respect?
    • During this hospital stay, how often did nurses listen carefully to you?
    • During this hospital stay, how often did nurses explain things in a way you could understand?
    • During this hospital stay, after you pressed the call button, how often did you get help as soon as you wanted it?
  2. Quality of doctor care
    • During this hospital stay, how often did doctors treat you with courtesy and respect?
    • During this hospital stay, how often did doctors listen carefully to you?
    • During this hospital stay, how often did doctors explain things in a way you could understand?
  3. Quality of hospital environment
    • During this hospital stay, how often were your room and bathroom kept clean?
    • During this hospital stay, how often was the area around your room quiet at night?
  4. Quality of hospital experience
    • During this hospital stay, did you need help from nurses or other staff in getting to the bathroom or using a bedpan?
    • How often did you get help in getting to the bathroom or using a bedpan as soon as you wanted?
    • During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before?
    • Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for?
    • Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?
  5. Discharge experience
    • After you left the hospital, did you go directly to your own home, someone else’s home, or another health facility?
    • During this hospital stay, did doctors, nurses, or other hospital staff talk to you about having the help you needed after leaving the hospital?
    • During this hospital stay, did you get information in writing about what symptoms or health problems to look out for after you left the hospital?
  6. Overall hospital rating
    • Using any number from 0 to 10, where 0 is the worst hospital possible and 10 is the best hospital possible, what number would you use to rate this hospital during your stay?
    • Would you recommend this hospital to your friends and family?
  7. Aftercare and home recovery
    • During this hospital stay, did staff take my preferences and those of my family or caregiver into account when deciding what my healthcare needs would be when I left?
    • When I left the hospital, I had a good understanding of the things I was responsible for in managing my health.
    • When I left the hospital, I clearly understood the purpose of each of my medications.
  8. Patient self-assessment
    • During this hospital stay, were you admitted to this hospital through the Emergency Room?
    • In general, how would you rate your overall health?
    • In general, how would you rate your overall mental or emotional health?
    • What is the highest grade or level of school that you have completed?
    • Are you of Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino origin or descent?
    • What is your race? Please choose one or more.
    • What language do you mainly speak at home?

CAHPS patient satisfaction surveys

CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) is a set of surveys that evaluate patients' experiences with healthcare services. They focus on aspects such as communication with doctors and nurses, understanding medication, access to care, and overall satisfaction with the healthcare system.

Examples of CAHPS survey questions could include:

  1. How often did your healthcare provider seem informed and up-to-date about the care you received from specialists?
  2. In the last six months, when you contacted your healthcare provider's office to get an appointment for care needed right away, how often did you get an appointment as soon as needed?
  3. During your most recent visit, did your healthcare provider talk about specific goals for your health?
  4. How would you rate your healthcare provider on a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 is the worst provider possible and 10 is the best provider possible?
  5. In the last six months, how often did your healthcare provider's office follow up with the results of blood tests, x-rays, or other tests?

Best practices for patient experience surveys

Before beginning, it’s important to keep some things in mind about getting 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 the survey complies with HIPAA regulations (and while SurveyPlanet takes patient 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 satisfaction surveys

It’s not enough to create an amazing patient satisfaction 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. What other steps can ensure recipients take the time to fill out a survey?

  • While still in the healthcare facility, confirm that a patient’s email address is up to date.
  • Inform patients that a survey will be sent out 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. SurveyPlanet’s survey length estimate provides a “best guess” of how much time it will take respondents to finish a survey. Learn more about this in our blog about how long your survey should be.
  • Send out feedback surveys one or two days after the patient’s visit, while it’s still fresh in their mind. This will help get better feedback.

These guidelines will help you, successfully distribute patient surveys that get a high response rate and deliver statistically significant results.

Using the data related to patient satisfaction in healthcare

Once all the data is in, the scale of information can be overwhelming—some of which 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 analyzing collected survey data is needed, we recommend our Ultimate Guide To Survey Data Collection, which shares practical examples and methods to ease this process.

Once patients’ feedback is better understood, it’s time to act on it. Patient satisfaction surveys can also be used to boost morale among employees and help resolve issues.

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

This process should not be restricted to medical staff. Other employees have a big impact on the daily patient experience. 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 express satisfaction in your hospital patient satisfaction survey, your health plan is on the right track. If dissatisfaction surfaces, it's essential to thoroughly assess their experiences. Understanding patient feedback through surveys about patient satisfaction in healthcare is key to identifying and implementing quality improvements in service. And patients will be more likely to refer you to others if they have a good experience.

With patient experience survey questions, better understand what patients are thinking regarding their experience with you. Here are some survey questions examples to elevate services to the next level that 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 get immediate feedback from patients:

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

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

One such tool is our pre-made patient survey templates. These 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 the actionable insights of patient surveys, you’ll know exactly what patients need and expect.

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