Crafting a Patient Satisfaction Survey: A Guide for Direct Care Clinicians

Learn how to define insightful questions and the best practices to implement this important feedback tool in your practice.

In the patient-centric model of Direct Care, measuring patient satisfaction is a pledge towards continuous improvement. A well-structured Patient Satisfaction Survey can serve as a powerful tool in understanding the patient experience and identifying areas for enhancement.

This blog post aims to guide you on how to define insightful questions and implement a Patient Satisfaction Survey effectively in your practices.

First things first: what is Patient Satisfaction and what are the main benefits?

Patient satisfaction refers to the extent to which patients are content with the care and services they receive from your practice. It encompasses various aspects, including the quality of medical treatment, communication with healthcare staff, wait times, facility cleanliness, and overall convenience.

A high level of patient satisfaction contributes to the development of a positive reputation for your practice, fostering trust and loyalty among patients. Satisfied patients are more likely to leave positive reviews, recommend the facility to others, and become loyal patrons, ultimately leading to increased repeat visits and a higher influx of referrals of new patients.

Designing a Patient Satisfaction Survey

Before diving into the specifics of the survey, it's imperative to have a clear understanding of what you aim to achieve with this important tool.

Aligning with Your Practice Values

Ensure that the core values of the Direct Care Model—such as personalized care, accessibility, and long-term patient relationships—are mirrored in the objective of your survey. The feedback obtained should help in better aligning your services with these fundamental values.

Identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are crucial for your practice. Whether it's the promptness of service, ease of communication, or the overall patient experience, knowing your KPIs will help in designing a more focused survey.

A very important suggestion to include is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). It is calculated by asking patients a simple question: "On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend our practice to a friend or family member?" Based on the responses, patients are categorized into three groups:

The NPS score ranges from -100 to +100, with a positive score indicating a higher likelihood of recommendations and satisfaction.

Defining Thoughtful Questions

The essence of an effective survey lies in the questions you ask. Consider incorporating a combination of:

  • Rating Scale Questions: These questions help you to obtain quantifiable data.
  • Open-Ended Questions: These questions provide you with qualitative insights.

Timing is Key

Choose the right time to send out the surveys. It's often beneficial to send them out shortly after the patient’s visit while the experience is still fresh in their mind.

Honoring Patient Privacy

Ensure that the process of collecting feedback upholds patient privacy and complies with healthcare regulations.

Example of a Patient Satisfaction Survey

Your insight into the care you received at [Practice Name] is invaluable to us. This survey aims to gauge your satisfaction and gather your suggestions for our continual improvement. Please take a few moments to share your feedback on your recent visit.


Overall Satisfaction:

1. How would you rate your overall satisfaction with your recent visit?

  • Very Satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • Neutral
  • Dissatisfied
  • Very Dissatisfied


2. Were you seen by the doctor at your scheduled appointment time?

  • Yes
  • No


3. How would you rate the clarity and effectiveness of communication by our staff and physician?

  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Fair
  • Poor


4. How convenient was it to schedule your appointment and reach our clinic?

  • Very Convenient
  • Convenient
  • Neutral
  • Inconvenient
  • Very Inconvenient

Staff Courtesy:

5. How courteous and helpful were our staff during your visit?

  • Very Courteous
  • Courteous
  • Neutral
  • Discourteous
  • Very Discourteous

Physician’s Understanding:

6. How well did the physician understand and address your concerns?

  • Very Well
  • Well
  • Neutral
  • Poorly
  • Very Poorly

Net Promote Score

7. On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend our practice to a friend or family member?

Feedback and Suggestions:

8. Please provide any additional feedback or suggestions that could help us improve your experience in the future.

Thank you Message

We are dedicated to providing an exemplary healthcare experience. Your feedback is a crucial step towards our continuous improvement. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Analyzing and Acting on Feedback

A well-structured Patient Satisfaction Survey can provide invaluable insights into the patient experience

Once the feedback is received, take the time to analyze the responses. Identify the areas of opportunity, and, more importantly, act on the feedback. Come read this new article to discover strategies to improve patient satisfaction in each stage of the Patient Experience Journey, fostering trust and loyalty.

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