Utilizing Effective Patient Surveys

Patient surveys can provide valuable feedback regarding how to take your practice to the next level assuming you ask the right questions. Consider this quote from Francois de La Rochefoucauld:

“Few people have the wisdom to prefer the criticism that would do them good, to the praise that deceives them.”

Unfortunately, most surveys are set up to deliver a whitewash of compliments.  Doctors are like anyone else in that they enjoy positive feedback, which means the survey whitewash offers a level of comfort.  But what are patients not telling you, either because the survey is too long or doesn’t offer the opportunity?

I have challenged several doctors through the years to move away from the praise that deceives and invite constructive feedback to make the practice even stronger.  The doctors accomplished this with a one-question survey: Please tell us what we can do to make the patient experience even better.

That valuable question did not expose the doctors and teams to an onslaught of criticism.  Instead, the practices used the feedback to fine-tune everything from what is communicated before a procedure to how well the practice runs on time to what magazines are selected for the reception area.

Consider what you can learn from your patients if you give them the invitation to help.  I encourage you to utilize effective practice surveys that move beyond the praise that deceives.

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