Office Surveys – This Is Not a Test; this is An Answer

by Dr. Ron Arndt

Ditch that stale suggestions box sitting at the front desk and begin performing regular patient surveys. These surveys are vital to operating a. Some doctors insist that it’s just more paperwork or that there is no time in the day. On the contrary, when following these tips, conducting surveys are a breeze.

To my I recommend conducting surveys twice a year. I also remind my clients that measuring results and getting useful feedback isn’t as simple as slapping some questions on a postcard size piece of paper and tossing it into a fishbowl at the front desk. Patient feedback surveys must be carefully mapped out and collated at the end.

My tips for how to conduct patient surveys:

1. Know what issues you want to target. Consider: Do you want to know if your patients are referring others to you? Are you preparing to expand your hours? Do you want to know if your phone is being answered like the Concierge at the Ritz? Targeting specific areas of your practice will help guide you.

2. , I suggest a mix of quantitative questions — asking patients to rate their treatment satisfaction on a five-point scale, for instance — should be mixed with open-ended questions to gain a mix of information. For example: 5 of the questions should require a simple “1” to “5” with 5 being high and 1 being a low answer. Example: “My appointment was scheduled with ease.” 2-3 of the questions should be open-ended questions. Example: “How do you feel that the staff treated you during your visit?”

3. Make it easy. Invite your patients to fill out the form while in the reception area, or while in the chair waiting for anesthesia to kick in. If the patient doesn’t have time to fill it out, provide them with a stamped envelope to send it back to you after they complete it at home. And, as always, make the survey anonymous.

4. Get a random sample. Have your front desk receptionist hand out a survey to every other patient, and make sure that you have roughly 100 surveys before you begin to collate and study the results. Also, have patients select their age range, so that you can be sure to get the most effective sample. Give patients of all demographics the chance to express their thoughts on your dental practice.

In today’s marketplace, successful realize that surveys are an inexpensive, sure-fire way to receive honest feedback that – when applied – will improve your dental practice profitability tremendously. Share the results with your entire staff, if applicable, and decide on benchmarks to reach together. Make sure to compare surveys year over year – you will be astonished at how much you’ve improved!

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