The following blog post was written by Maggy Stewart, Marketing Coordinator & Graphic Designer.
As a CMS-approved CAHPS Survey provider and healthcare consulting research firm with over a decade of patient satisfaction surveying experience, it is our job and our goal as a survey vendor and consultant to provide our clients with the tools and resources needed to improve patient awareness and ultimately, your scores. Upgrading your scores not only improves your organization’s bottom line, but it also works toward achieving higher publicly-reported patient satisfaction ratings.
We recently touched base with one of our larger hospital clients to identify opportunities where they could improve patient engagement in their post-hospitalization surveying. Initially reviewing patient feedback reveals that there is always room for improvement. In this blog post, we’ll break down three simple ways you can enhance patient response rates, satisfaction, scores and outcomes while improving your facility in general.
1. If your facility currently participates in patient surveying, it is critical to inform your patients during the discharge process that they may receive a survey. This not only gives validity to the patient survey itself, but it extends a sentiment of caring and compassion. We encourage our clients to introduce discharge cards routinely as patients depart your organization, as well as showcasing posters near your checkout area and throughout your offices. This additional messaging focuses on increasing the patients’ awareness of potentially receiving a survey. Our team has found that providing an assortment of visible and straightforward materials to the patient (both at discharge and throughout the office) has the power to resonate more clearly with patients, increasing recall for when they do receive a survey or are prompted to participate. Adding these marketing materials to your tool chest provides a two-step verification process — a reinforcement in your messaging that you truly care about your patients and validation that if they do receive a survey from RMS Healthcare, it is legitimate and endorsed by your facility.
2. Communicate with your team to establish talking points staff can reiterate when speaking with patients and their family members. Team huddles and meetings are favorable times to introduce appropriate talking points with your staff. As some facilities are aware, the discharge planners are often the last staff members to have contact with the patients. They play a vital role and provide a lasting impression with patients. Talking points facilitate discharge planners to engage with patients, leading to more meaningful patient feedback. A lasting impression is as important as a first impression.
3. Many CMS-mandated surveys allow for different survey modes to be chosen by your facility. Patient surveys are conducted via mail, phone, a mixed mode of both mail and phone, email or SMS text. Switching your surveying mode to phone mode is a proactive way to reach more patients on a more personal level. Our research has shown that many facilities can increase their patient response rates using phone mode due to the attentive approach of follow-up phone calls, as it provides a more personalized surveying experience and typically removes any confusion regarding facility and provider information, and the survey itself.
The healthcare industry is now a patient-driven business. Patients have more freedom to make personal choices thanks to online reviews, publicly available ratings and overall scores. Applying these 3 tactics to your patient survey administration process is an easy way to drive change within your organization. Lead the way, improve your bottom line, and — most importantly — your patients’ satisfaction.
RMS is a full-service market research and consulting firm located near Syracuse, New York. If you are interested in learning more about our patient experience & satisfaction surveying capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Vice President of Corporate Development at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 866.567.5422.