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Effective Patient Communication: How to Write a Patient Satisfaction Survey

Holistic practice patient satisfaction surveys

No matter the specialty of your holistic practice—whether you offer acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic treatments, or a combination—you’re there to provide quality care to your community. How do you know that you’re squarely hitting that target, though? What if there are some areas of your holistic practice that patients wish were a little more streamlined for them? That’s where a patient satisfaction survey helps facilitate effective patient communication.

Patient satisfaction surveys are a great way to get feedback on the perception your patients have regarding your overall holistic practice experience. Encouraging their feedback can lead to a stronger patient-practice relationship and optimize your overall practice to best suit the patient experience.

Why Is Patient Satisfaction Important for Your Holistic Practice?

The success of your holistic practice depends upon patients having a great experience, ideally from start to finish. Your patients, both new and returning, are the heart of your practice since they dictate the financial performance and are there to receive quality care from your organization. A negative experience, or repeated pattern of not addressing patient feedback, can lead to loss of business.

Implementing a patient satisfaction survey can help your holistic practice prioritize the feedback of your patients beyond delivering great care: simply initiating the conversation and asking for their feedback and taking steps to apply that feedback demonstrates great care for the relationship. A strong patient-practice relationship behooves you and your practice’s enduring success!

Patient satisfaction surveys are helpful for your holistic practice

How to Write a Patient Satisfaction Survey

Writing a patient satisfaction survey for your holistic practice’s patients doesn’t have to take a long time—nor is it meant to be unchanging! It’s completely fine if you start with a few anchor points to ask them about but later pivot to ask about something else pertaining to your practice.

Start with these foundational steps to put together some questions that you feel best to apply to your patient population:

Reflect Upon What Might Need Improvement

Internally brainstorm for ideas regarding what might apply to your patients; is there a problem with the scheduling system? Do you often have issues with designating parking spots for your practice? Are you seeing patients return to your practice or do they visit once or twice but move to another organization? Jot down your practice’s internal points of interest to consider including on the patient satisfaction survey.

Listen to Your Patients

Some patients might be telling you what they think about your practice without having the official survey in front of them—picking up on what they discuss when making small talk can help give you insight into what is inconvenient to them or what they’d like to see more of.

For example, if you hear your patients ask if they’re okay to park in front of the business next door, then that might be a clue into what your holistic practice needs to address in your patient satisfaction survey. Picking up on these informal comments that share a theme or pattern is a great way to scope out what to include in your survey.

Determine Your Rating Scale

Your survey results won’t be as actionable as you’d like if your rating scales are inconsistent; your survey needs a measurable way to compare data to make it effective! There are many different ways to scale your patient satisfaction survey, but keep these points in mind when determining which to implement in yours:

  • Try to avoid offering a “neutral” option since that won’t help your holistic practice yield specific results
  • Stick to one rating scale method for all quantitative questions; for example, utilizing a variety of emoticons or a numbered scale for the survey will help keep your results comparable

Questions to Consider Using for Patient Satisfaction Surveys

If you’re ready to write your holistic practice’s patient satisfaction survey, consider including some of these questions to jumpstart discussion and select the best range that suits your patient population:

  • How long did you wait for your appointment to start (beyond your appointment time)?
  • How clean was the waiting room?
  • How knowledgeable were the staff?
  • Was the staff courteous?
  • Were you informed of the payment options available to you?
  • Are our appointment times convenient?
  • How would you rate the parking availability of this office?
  • Did the practitioner meet your needs?
  • Did you feel you were treated as a top priority in this office?
  • Will you return to this practice?
  • Would you refer your friends and family to this practice?

You’ll notice that none of these questions are double-barreled—or, in other words, asking about two separate things in the same question. For example, asking if the patient will return to your practice is different from asking if they would refer their friends and family to your practice.

Be sure to also include some open-ended questions for your patients to share their free-form opinion and ideas for improvement. For example, ask the question “What can we do to improve your experience?” to demonstrate your holistic practice’s eagerness to hear from the patient directly about what can be streamlined for their experience.

Focus on Your Patients and Let Holistic Billing Services Handle Your Medical Billing!

The shaping of your holistic practice’s reputation is happening whether you’re directly handling it or not. Your prospective patients will make quick assessments about your practice based on the first impressions they get when searching the web, which includes patient reviews! That's why creating an effective patient satisfaction survey is a core component for strengthening the relationship between your practice and your patients, and can be a great tool for attracting new patients.

Wish you had more time and energy to spend working on these questions and your patients? Partner with a medical billing firm to handle your medical billing and coding processes. Holistic Billing Services is here to help you grow your practice in a variety of ways and has been facilitating the growth of holistic practices since 1999.

Contact us today and let us help your holistic practice reach its potential!

April 20, 2022
 - by Antonio Arias, MBA, CHBME
Holistic practice patient satisfaction surveys
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