Four ways to improve your patient feedback process

April 20, 2017 Samantha Relich

Regardless of how you gather it, patient feedback is essential. It gives all organizations a chance to celebrate and build on successes and to address pain points in your patients’ visits. Gathering patient feedback is crucial to the healthcare quality improvement cycle. There are a lot of strategies to optimize feedback techniques, but the golden rule is to keep any feedback process short and simple. Keep these other strategies in mind to get the most out of your patient feedback process:

Make giving feedback accessible

Feedback channels should be easy to use and accessible for all patients. Keep language barriers, reading level and different abilities in mind when designing any feedback process and be prepared to offer alternatives.
Using software that links to your electronic health record or ADT to auto-populate fields can simplify the process of giving feedback and reduce errors.

A human touch goes a long way

According to a study recapped in the Harvard Business Review, face-to-face requests are 34 times more successful than ones sent by email when asking for donations. By that logic, the likelihood of patients providing feedback is higher when the ask is made in person –  take the time to remind them how valuable their feedback is!

Identify and capitalize on all patient touchpoints

Too often even the most carefully thought out feedback form is sent into the email abyss and is never filled out. To help counteract this problem, consider all the possible opportunities to engage with patients to get feedback, whether it’s while they are in the hospital or via social media. Making the feedback process flexible is key to improving response rates and quality.
Remember, feedback can come in many forms, including anecdotes. Encourage your staff to report patient experiences that they witness or feedback that is shared with them.

Close the accountability loop

Harnessing the information from the feedback process and turning it into actions are only the first two steps in the process. Close the loop by publicizing the changes that have come from patient feedback – it’s a great way to show your patient community that their feedback is valued and makes a difference.

Developing an effective strategy for gathering patient feedback can take time – no two healthcare organizations are the same. Though it may take some iteration, experimenting with different feedback forms and approaches can go a long way toward gathering feedback that will improve the patient experience at your institution.

Feedback software can make all the difference in capturing and translating patient feedback. Learn more about RL6:Feedback. 

About the Author

Samantha is part of the marketing team at RL and is passionate about sharing healthcare stories. When she's not typing away, you can find her as far from the city as possible with a book and a kayak.

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