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Patient Satisfaction Survey & Quality Control

The clinic administrator at Big City Clinic is concerned about two issues. One is a pressing issue of how to ensure the clinic is being responsible to its patients. Second, the physicians have mentioned that they are not getting as many new patients as they think they should, and the reasons are unclear. They believe that marketing might be the way to get more patients.

The administrator asks you to look into this problem. Before deciding what to do, the administrator decides he needs to know more about patient satisfaction surveys. Specifically, he asks you to address the following two questions using the Internet:

QUESTIONS:

What is the usual content in a patient satisfaction survey?
What is the level of truthfulness in a patient satisfaction survey?
The administrator also asks you to make a recommendation based on your findings. Specifically, he wants to know whether a patient satisfaction survey should be implemented or if the clinic should simply start a marketing plan. Some of the physicians have argued that patient satisfaction surveys should be forgotten and marketing the clinic should be executed instead. They believe good marketing will satisfy both questions.

Solution Preview

Please see response attached for best formatting, which is also presented below.

RESPONSE:

One approach is to look at illustrative examples of other patient surveys to get ideas for developing your own survey. For the last question, the illustrative example provides a solid argument for implemented a patient satisfaction survey e.g., quality control, perceived quality, feedback for improvement, etc.

1. What is the usual content in a patient satisfaction survey?

Thus, a good place to start your research would be to research patient satisfaction surveys developed by other health care organizations (HCOs). However, in general, most would include content for the following:

· Safety - avoiding injuries to patients from the care that is intended to help them;
· Effectiveness - providing services based on scientific knowledge to all who could benefit and refraining from providing services to those not likely to benefit;
· Patient-Centered - providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs and values and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions;
· Timeliness - reducing waits and sometimes harmful delays for both those who receive and those who give care;
· Efficient - avoiding waste, especially of equipment, supplies, ideas and energy;
· Equitable - providing care that does not vary in quality because of personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, geographic location and socio-economic status. http://www.bphc.hrsa.gov/quality/default.htm
· Affordability - methods of payment
· Accessibility of the facility
· Confidentiality -privacy of medical information

Now, let's research some illustrative examples for other considerations for content to include (e.g., demographic, etc.). Please click on www.google.com for an Internet search using the following search words: "patient satisfaction survey examples" or "patient satisfaction survey" for starters. The first illustrative example is a sample for health care organizations to use, so you can consider using it as well, or some variation of the sample.

ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLE 1: Patient Satisfaction Survey

[Your Clinic Name Here]
Patient Satisfaction Survey

We would like to know how you feel about the services we provide so we can make sure we are meeting your needs. Your responses are directly responsible for improving these services. All responses will be kept confidential and anonymous. Thank you for your time.

Your Age: _______
Your Sex: ___Male ___Female

Your Race/Ethnicity:
___ Asian
___ Pacific Islander
___ Black/African American
___ American Indian/Alaska Native
___ White (Not Hispanic or Latino)
___ Hispanic or Latino (All Races)
___ Unknown

Please circle how well you think we are doing in the following areas:
GREAT: 5
GOOD: 4
OK: 3
FAIR: 2
POOR: 1

Ease of getting care:
Ability to get in to be seen: 5 4 3 2 1
Hours Center is open: 5 4 3 2 1
Convenience of Center's location: 5 4 3 2 1
Prompt return on calls: 5 4 3 2 1

Waiting:
Time in waiting room: 5 4 3 2 1
Time in exam room: 5 4 3 2 1
Waiting for tests to be performed: 5 4 3 2 1
Waiting for test results: 5 4 3 2 1

Staff:
Provider: (Physician, Dentist, Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner)
Listens to you: 5 4 3 2 1
Takes enough time with you: 5 4 3 2 1
Explains what you want to know: 5 4 3 2 1
Gives you good advice and treatment: 5 4 3 2 1
Nurses and Medical Assistants:
Friendly and helpful to you: 5 4 3 2 1
Answers your questions: 5 4 3 2 1

All Others:
Friendly and helpful to you: 5 4 3 2 1
Answers your questions: 5 4 3 2 1

Payment :
What you pay: 5 4 3 2 1
Explanation of charges: 5 4 3 2 1
Collection of payment/money: 5 4 3 2 1

Facility:
Neat and clean building: 5 4 3 2 1
Ease of finding where to go: 5 4 3 2 1
Comfort and Safety while waiting: 5 4 3 2 1

Privacy: 5 4 3 2 1

Confidentiality:
Keeping my personal information private: 5 4 3 2 1
The likelihood of referring your friends and relatives to us: 5 4 3 2 1

What do you like best about our center?
________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________.

What do you like least about our Center?
________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________.
Suggestions for improvement?

___________________________________________________________________.
Thank you for completing our Survey!

Source: http://www.bphc.hrsa.gov/quality/patienttool.htm Retrieved June 22, 2007

OTHER ONLINE ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES:

For another example of content to include in your patient satisfaction survey, please click the following link: https://www.visionsite.com/secure/102-01-00032/ps.asp.

Also see http://www.lakeridgehealth.on.ca/survey/public/survey.php?name=patientsatisfactionsurvey_v2_copy1_copy1.

2. What is the level of truthfulness in a patient satisfaction survey?

Self -report surveys are subjective and thus the survey is as reliable as the patient is truthful about her or his experience. However, most patients would have nothing to gain by not telling the truth. The largest issue here is the rate of return of the survey. The larger the sample size, the number of responses, and the higher the return rate, the more reliable and valid is the data (see Illustrative Example 3 below for other ways to increase reliability). Since reliability issues can be adequately dealt with, through patient satisfaction surveys, HCOs receive information that helps to identify where it is doing well and highlights where there are opportunities to improve its care and services.

See http://www.bphc.hrsa.gov/quality/.

3. The administrator also asks you to make a recommendation based on your findings. Specifically, he wants to know whether a patient satisfaction survey should be implemented or if the clinic should simply start a marketing plan. Some of the physicians have argued that patient satisfaction surveys should be forgotten and marketing the clinic should be executed instead. They believe good marketing will satisfy both questions.

Patient Surveys are important to quality control and continuous improvement based on the feedback from patients who use your services.

According to White, however, many administrators wonder if patient satisfaction surveys are a good idea. If you're inclined to answer "false," she reports, you might ...

Solution Summary

Referring to the case, this solution responds to the questions on a patient satisfaction survey e.g. items to include, reliability of responses and arguments for and against including a patient satisfaction survey as part of the quality control measures. It also includes a sample patient satisfaction survey and many examples.

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