This blog post was featured in the latest edition of the Quality Care Courier, a Healthcare newsletter published by Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS).

Background: RMS was engaged to conduct patient satisfaction/experience survey work with a client’s patients visiting their facilities each month. The focus of the market research was to benchmark and continually monitor patient satisfaction for the practice. The research has been ongoing for five years and has been a tool used by practice leadership to continuously monitor and improve practice operations. From the research, the practice tracks their patients’ experiences, makes necessary changes and provides training to staff and assesses their outcomes on an ongoing basis.


Methodology: RMS uses the CG-CAHPS® survey instrument in its monthly surveying to a sample of patients from a list delivered by the client at the beginning of each month. The data is analyzed in a month-to-month trending report together with a 12-month snapshot. Survey results are compared, when available, to national comparative data available through a national CAHPS® database. By creating a unique patient ID included on the survey, RMS is also able to analyze results based on client-provided patient data (provider, facility, etc.) on the back-end for reporting. Verbatim comments and comments on ways to improve service are provided to the client as well as the data results.

Findings: The following are a few bullet points of some initial findings from the research:

  • Despite being consistently higher than the national comparative data, the client continues to receive its lowest scores for issues around access to care including access to appointments, wait time, etc.
  • Over the past 12 months, the client has seen an increase in the percentage of patients who call into the office during business hours that feel they always get answers to their medical questions on the same day. However, there has been a corresponding decrease in the patients who call into the office after hours who feel that they get their answers to their medical questions as soon as they felt they needed.
  • While most survey questions receive “top box” responses (the best response possible for that question) from at least 60 percent of patients responding, when asked about wait time to see the doctor, only slightly more than a third of patients responding said that they “always” see the doctor within 15 minutes of their scheduled appointment time.

Results: The client uses the data regularly to share with leadership, providers and staff. The leadership team looks at the data to see if there are any dramatic changes (good or bad) and, if there are, they look to determine the root cause. The client uses the verbatim comments about dissatisfaction and any general comments to brainstorm process changes. The practice also uses the survey as a tool in quality initiatives.

If you are interested in conducting a similar patient experience surveying project with RMS Healthcare, contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at or by calling 1-866-567-5422.