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    You’ve made the decision to conduct patient satisfaction surveys. Perhaps your physicians aren’t too excited about it, perhaps your staff isn’t either. However, you learned in a seminar that patient experience is an increasingly important component of meeting quality standards, so you know it’s time to use them in your practice.
    As further proof, a recent MGMA Stat poll asked healthcare leaders, “Does your organization conduct patient satisfaction surveys?” The majority (82%) responded “yes,” while only 17% said “no.” The remaining 1% were “unsure.” Of those healthcare leaders who responded “yes,” 86% use patient satisfaction surveys to measure organizational performance.
    So what’s next for your organization? Consider how you can employ these results to make changes in your medical practice.
    The recently published MGMA-Healthgrades analysis found that 52% of patients surveyed mentioned the need for their doctor to have at least one of the following: compassion, comfort, patience, personality or bedside manner, while 23% of respondents mentioned the importance of a doctor’s time, knowledge, insurance, appointment scheduling and communication.
    Providers can gauge how they’re doing by utilizing patient satisfaction surveys. If you don’t use one, you could be missing out on invaluable feedback from your patients, who are also your customers. Data from 2017 MGMA DataDive Practice Operations indicates that nearly three of four (74%) multispecialty practices review patient satisfaction monthly. Several additional patient satisfaction benchmarks can be accessed through MGMA DataDive.
    Once you decide to use patient satisfaction surveys, how can you leverage the results to improve your practice’s overall performance and customer experience?

    1. Share the results with your team. Nobody benefits if the results end up on an Excel spreadsheet in the cloud. Gather the results, analyze them, quantify them and present them in an easily understandable fashion – with recommendations on how to improve. Trend the results over time. Celebrate the successes. Learn from the failures.
    2. Establish clear patient experience expectations with every team member. Every member of your team should play a role in the patient experience. Every team member’s behavior and job performance affects the patient experience. Ensure there is no confusion among team members.
    3. Embrace the patient experience as more than a tagline or slogan. Ensure that your team is focused on providing patient-centric care during every visit. Use survey results to improve the way you interact with your patients.

    If you neglect to use patient satisfaction surveys, you are missing out on a valuable tool that can help you gain insight from your patients and improve your practice’s performance.

    Additional resources:

    • Read about ways to improve patient satisfaction scores
    • Learn about tips on regular patient engagement
    • Access 2017 MGMA DataDive Practice Operations
    • Learn more about DataDive

    Kenneth T. Hertz, FACMPE
    Principal Consultant 
    MGMA Consulting 

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