Survey your patients twice a year

An in-house patient survey, conducted at least twice a year, can be an excellent marketing tool. The fact that you’re asking your patients to help you serve them better has its own value. Unless you totally disregard their constructive criticism, the survey essentially says, “We care.”

In constructing your survey, get specific in some of the survey items (e.g., "Receptionist was friendly and courteous”), suggests marketing expert Meryl D. Luallin. Follow each statement with a series of numbers from 1 to 4, ranging from “agree strongly” to “disagree strongly.”

A sample of just a few hundred surveys each six months should be enough to give you the information you need. It will give you reasonable statistical certainty without committing you to a high-cost effort directed at your entire patient base. Although you run a minor risk of getting skewed results by reaching only those patients who are willing to answer, your goal should be learning about your practice — not statistical certainty.

This piece of solid advice was adapted from Customer Service for Successful Medical Practice, from Advisory Publications, a division of HCPro, Inc. To order, click here

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