[Series Installment] As the US healthcare delivery system becomes increasingly consumer-driven, patient satisfaction is more important than ever. Forward thinking medical practices routinely put the patient/consumer at the center of their progressive planning.
Hospitals and medical systems have the standardized HCAHPS instruments. Increasingly providers and marketing professionals want to hear the voice of the customer through feedback channels, patient satisfaction surveys and online reviews.
Patient satisfaction surveys bring immediate insight to physician marketing, tapping into customer loyalty, patient communications, identifying audience needs and spotting trends ahead of the competition.
Typically, the data gathering in a customer survey is brief. In health or healthcare environment the questions and specifics will vary. However, if you, the customer are happy, you are encouraged to tell friends and family, to share your (presumably positive) experience via an online review, and/or to connect with the company via Facebook, Twitter or other social platforms.
Of course, if you are not happy, then…”please tell our customer service team and we’ll work hard to put a smile back on your face.” A card provides contact options including telephone numbers (domestic and international), an email address and a website support page.
How you shape your survey or questions will vary, but the essential ingredients are:
If you’re not asking about customer or patient satisfaction you aren’t really measuring it. The three-time mayor of New York City, Ed Koch, used a memorable catch phrase. He was known for asking everyone, everywhere, anytime: “How am I doing?”
Asking the question (and inviting the honest feedback) about a million times over the years, demonstrated his continuing concern for doing a good job. No doubt, it also helped keep him in the mayor’s office for over a decade.
Many of these principles from the retail world are useful in healthcare delivery. Some creative adjustments may be needed, but a measure of satisfaction is a key to managing and improving the business, the product and/or the service.
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