91 - 8047092031

7 mistakes you are making in collecting patient feedback

07 Aug 2018 | by Dr. Surabhi Bhati

With changes in health care trends, the importance of patients opinion has increased in a substantial way. Most of the hospitals are working towards understanding what their patients need and want to serve them exactly what they want. The most effective tool to understand your patients' requirements is collecting patient feedback from your patients. This blog identifies what mistakes the hospitals are making in terms of feedback collection and how to avoid these deadly mistakes

How are you collecting your patient’s feedback?

Most of the hospital uses paper-based patient feedback form which needs to be filled by the patients or their relatives and shall be submitted to the authorized person or shall be dropped at a designated place which is mostly Feedback box.

If you are collecting feedback from your patients, you will be able to understand what they want from you and how you can improve your services to cater to your patients-cum-customers much better. In fact by any chance, if you are not able to collect the patient's point of view towards the rendered service chances are you will lose your patients to your competition if not immediately then pretty soon.

Feedback and surveys are the best way to understand what your patients think about the services

The process of collecting feedback and surveys are pretty straightforward and simple but only when you generate the data suitable to provide greater insight into your day to day processes. The data which you can analyze to improve your processes and operations. Feedback helps you in improving your services by providing insights into your day to day operations. With the help of carefully drafted and executed feedback system in place, you shall be able to identify any problems in your hospital early on and will be able to rectify it on time.

Carefully executed feedback can identify loopholes early in your day to day operations and with real-time feedback, you can attend to this feedback to improve your service delivery. It is always better to learn about issues sooner than later. Not only does this gives you the opportunity to resolve the issue in time but also build trust with the patients.

Regardless of the importance of real-time feedback in the day to day operations, hospitals are lacking in setting up the best ways to implement feedback procedures in their organization. This post will help you in identifying where and what you are doing it wrong and how you can improve your patient feedback at your hospital.

Seven Dangerous mistakes you make while getting patient- feedback in your hospital:

Mistake 1: You use feedback without a clear objective.

Solution: Before starting any survey or feedback decide your end goal

Have you put up the feedback form in your hospital and are not able to generate enough responses from the patients or the responses collected are not useful in providing insight?

Then you need to start all over again with clear, concise and measurable objectives.

Few questions you need to answer before starting the feedback:

  • Why are you doing it?

  • How are you going to collect the feedback?

  • How are you going to do the analysis- what tools you will use?

  • How will you measure the progress?

Answering these questions will help you understand what you want to achieve from the feedback campaign and one you know what is your end goal, it will be easier for you to design your questions and mode of doing it be it paper-based or electronic.

Mistake 2: One structure of questions for all patients.

Solution: Build your questions as per your patient-department segmentation

Do you think it is advisable to ask questions related to dietary services to an OPD patient?

The answer is NO

You should identify who is your targeted audience and structure your questions accordingly. Do your research and identify who your customers are, what department you want your feedback to be established, what is the processes in place for that department etc and design your questionnaire accordingly.

Ask your patients what they can answer- custom design your question based on departments and service provided

Mistake 3: Your feedback is too lengthy

Solution: Stick to a maximum of 6 questions in the feedback

Most of the hospital don’t think enough with respect to what type of questions shall be included in the feedback. Many times they end up copying feedback questionnaire similar to what other hospitals are using or the same as what was taught in academia. If you want to set-up an excellent feedback system in your organization, you need to start customizing your existing feedback according to your patient's requirement.

Ask your patients what they want to report- understand their requirement

The patients come to the hospital as they are in distress and seek medical care. Getting healthy is their main aim. During this time asking them to provide long feedback is tiring for them. Research indicates that patients prefer to spend less than 3 minutes for filling feedback form. Design your questions in a simple language and keep the number of questions limited to 5 or 6, not more than that.

Mistake 4: Your feedback has no space for open-ended questions--only choices

Solution: Treat open-ended question as a new market opportunity

The feedback questions asked by you are mostly based on Likert 4-point or a 5-point scale (Strongly Agree, Agree, No opinion, Disagree and Strongly Disagree). There is no option of open-ended question and patients are not able to provide their own inputs. By keeping all the options close ended you are missing out on the opportunity for improvement. You are not listening to your patients and hence are missing out on market opportunity which is right there in front of you.

Mistake 5: Your feedback questionnaire is full of jargons

Solution: Keep it short and simple

You have been working in hospital and health care for a very long time and hence you have an excellent grasp of medical and hospital related terminology. It is understandable that you might use a few of these terminologies in your feedback questionnaire but you need to understand your patients have no idea what you are talking about.

Restrict the use of medical and hospital words in feedback and if there is no other choice but to use these jargons don't forget to explain the terminology in the question.

Mistake 6: You focus on your processes and neglect patient’s experience

Solution: Design your questions around patients and their experience

Your feedback is mostly focused on the processes that you want to improve and during this, you lose your focus on what is most important for your organization ie, Your patients. Develop your feedback questionnaire around your patients. You have to make your questions simple and easy to understand by your patients. Some of the questions that you need to answer before designing your questionnaire include how they want to respond, what language they will prefer, how comfortable they will be during giving the feedback etc.

Mistake 7: Your feedback collection methods are outdated and patients are not responding

Solution: Use digital methods to collect patient feedback.

These methods can include patient portals, mobile apps, phone calls to online google surveys. As a healthcare professional of the new digital era, You need to be creative to understand what methods your patients are comfortable with and provide them with the same.

Make your feedback questionnaire by keeping the patient experience as the main motive and you will never be disappointed with the amount and quality of data you collect for your process improvement. Also, this approach will help you in creating brand value and trust among patients for your organization.

Interested in optimising patient feedback for your hospital? Contact Healtho5 today for MedEnagage Feedback -Real-time patient feedback solution.

We at Healtho5 are on a mission to solve patient engagement market in India and provide affordable easy to use solutions to the healthcare industry and patients. Visit Healtho5 or call us @ +91-8047092031


How to avoid the mistakes while designing patient feedback:

  1.  Decide the objective of feedback prior to making your questions.

  2.  Keep your feedback collection time under 3 minutes.

  3. Stick to a maximum of 6 questions in the feedback.

  4. Always involve patient experience as the core of your feedback.

  5. Stay away from excessive use of domain-specific jargons.

  6. Keep at least one open-ended question in your feedback.

  7. Use digital technology to collect real-time patient feedback.

About the Author: Dr Surabhi Bhati is Marketing Manager at Healtho5 Solutions. She has a medical degree with an MBA in Health Information Technology (HIT). She is passionate about healthcare innovation, writing, and online marketing.