Arizona Digestive Health, a group made up of over 50 providers across 30 locations, is working to set a new standard of care for patients with digestive diseases. Part of their success comes from gathering patient feedback and implementing changes to address any issues that arise.
Ian Rogers, Director of Marketing & Patient Relations at Arizona Digestive Health through early 2015, shared some of his organization’s best practices. His group enjoys one of the top response rates among all of SurveyVitals’ SPSQ clients. With over 46,000 survey responses received over the past 3+ years, they’ve done a great job engaging their patients in the process.
Rogers explained, “We strive to be at the forefront of technology, and appreciate that surveys are sent via email, text message, and automated phone system. At intake, we gather patient email addresses and phone numbers, and note which are cell phone numbers. As a result of meaningful use, we’ve become very good at standardizing and updating our intake forms across the organization. Through these updates we are able to gather essential patient information, which has certainly helped collect more patient satisfaction data.”
Arizona Digestive Health takes patient satisfaction seriously, and provides training at multiple levels to support the initiative. “We spend quite a bit of time training the front desk staff. Our corporate office starts by training the office managers at our quarterly meetings. Each office manager is then responsible for training the intake and reception staff at their locations. We also do webinars with screen sharing," Rogers continued.
Patients see posters in the lobby and exam rooms that ask, “How did we do?” The posters let patients know they will soon receive a survey.
Arizona Digestive Health maximizes a patient's cognitive recall by sending surveys to patients within a few days of their visit. "We upload patient data to SurveyVitals via their API. After a simple set up process, data is automatically sent every day or two. We don't have to lift a finger to send surveys to all of our patients," said Rogers. Patients typically receive a request to provide feedback within a week or two of their appointment date. This helps patients provide timely, accurate feedback to the practice.
All patient survey responses are tallied in real-time and displayed to providers and the administrators via client dashboards and reports. "I like the Contact Me feature of the SurveyVitals solution. The office managers are the first line of defense in contacting patients who may need to share further concerns about their experience, but I see the alerts too, and can stay on top of what's going on in all of our locations. We take that feedback to heart and appreciate the information that patients are willing to share."
Arizona Digestive Health makes sure all of their providers have access to their own survey results and scores. Then they took it a step further by redesigning their website to include those patient satisfaction scores in each provider's bio, right alongside their education, specialties, board certifications, and hospital affiliations.
How did they get their providers and staff on board with this idea? “We involved them from the beginning in our patient satisfaction partner selection process. They saw the SurveyVitals demos and got to participate in the decision process from the start," explained Rogers.
“We’re proud of our scores, and wanted to use the patient satisfaction data in a meaningful way. Physicians are competitive by nature. You publish their scores, and they want to keep getting better. That's how the cycle of continuous improvement begins!" said Rogers.
The patient satisfaction surveys revealed a few other small issues as well. “We added trash cans and coat hangers in the waiting areas,” finished Rogers. "It was a simple change, but small things can really add up in terms of patient satisfaction."
To summarize the best practices mentioned here:
- Collect patient email and cell phone numbers
- Train your staff to ask for this information during intake
- Tell patients they'll receive a survey shortly after their visit
- Upload patient data daily using the SurveyVitals API so surveys are sent shortly after the visit
- Give your providers access to their survey results
- Share your provider's scores with patients if appropriate
- Turn on alerts and assign someone to promptly respond to contact requests
Have your own best practices to share? Submit them to us, and we’ll feature them in an upcoming post.