Survey Response Rates - The Understated Art of Improving Patient Experience patient experience

Survey Response Rates – The Understated Art of Improving Patient Experience

Free Download: Enhance your Patient Experience program by using these major PX trends. Increase Patient Satisfaction. Reduce Churn. 


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Gaining actionable insights into customers’ experience is crucial to ensure their satisfaction with a product/service. Likewise, within the healthcare sector, a huge emphasis is being placed on patient experience. Be it setting up a healthcare marketing campaign or promoting your healthcare community, gathering data from patients plays a pivotal role in quality improvement as well as value-based healthcare delivery.

While patient experience surveys are widely preferred methods of capturing data, their low response rates make it difficult to paint the real picture. Let’s dig deeper into the importance of survey response rates and how you can improve them: 

Why survey response rate matters

As a patient experience survey helps to assess the patient satisfaction levels at every touchpoint, it’s response rate helps to ensure that the survey is performing as intended. While high survey response rates provide actionable feedback from a larger proportion of patients, low response rates can skew the patient experience data to a large extent. This further undermines the marketing efforts of healthcare providers.

According to the analysis of HCAHPS publicly reported data, the researchers observed a considerable drop in the response rates – from 33.3 % in 2008 to 26.7% in 2017. This decrease in response rate indicates that only a small percentage of patients give feedback to their healthcare providers.

With the increasing costs of healthcare services nowadays, the voice of patients matters more than ever. A key focus on increasing the response rates could help gather valuable data that improves the patient experience.

Patient Experience Guide
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Increasing survey response rate to elevate patient experience

Catering to a wider audience  

Since most of the patient experience surveys primarily gather feedback from adults, it’s important to include surveys for various audiences like children and adolescents. This helps to uncover a robust and stratified data set that reveals demographic-specific concerns which were not detected otherwise. As survey design plays a crucial role in boosting response rates, adding some fun to the survey with interactive emoticons or gamification would be a great idea. Also, it’s important to assure the patients’ confidentiality and anonymity before you survey them. 

Asking essential questions only

While you may feel inundating patients with multiple questions can help to uncover different aspects, lengthy surveys can be off-putting to the respondents. As poorly worded, complex surveys can lead to respondent fatigue, most patients abandon the survey before completing it. Sometimes, they might end up answering with disinterest, which results in bad data. 
So you need to check if the questions are actionable enough to provide you any useful information. If not, consider removing them!  

Adding convenience for your patients

When developing a patient experience survey, it’s important to focus on flexible methods of surveying your respondents. As there are multiple channels (web, phone, social media, or email) available for survey distribution, let your patients choose the right medium as per their convenience. According to an NRC health study, 55% of patients prefer getting surveyed via emails. That’s approximately 5 times to the patients who prefer phone calls (10%) and postal mail (10%) for surveys. Using Voxco’s omnichannel survey solution enables you to provide convenient alternatives to your patients. 

Improving the survey response rates can help in imbibing a positive patient experience across every touchpoint. Need to boost your survey response rates? Get in touch with the experts at Voxco to achieve unparalleled excellence in the patient experience.

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