Use simple surveys to better understand your “market” and give your patients the opportunity to provide feedback on a regular basis. What you receive in return is information that can be used to make major gains in practice efficiency and treatment acceptance. Follow these guidelines and get firsthand information on what your patients really think.
1. Develop a clear objective for your survey. In other words, what do you want to learn from this survey and/or what decisions do you want to make based on the results.
2. Keep it concise and simple.
3. Ask several questions that require a “yes” or “no” answer.
4. Ask a few open-ended questions to elicit feedback from patients as to what they like most and least about the office. You will gather excellent information from these sections. Pay close attention. The feedback you gather will give you specific areas that can be improved right away.
5. Hand patients the form with a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope when they leave and mail survey forms to inactive patients. Or, better yet, email the form to all active and inactive patients, and make it available on your website.
6. Pay close attention to negative comments. If one person out of 100 complains about a specific problem, recognize that many people choose not to say anything. It’s easy to dismiss it as “only one complaint.” But that one complaint is speaking for many others who chose to remain silent on the issue.
7. Implement reasonable suggestions promptly. This demonstrates clearly to patients that not only do you want their input, you are prepared to act on their suggestions.