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5 Important Questions to Ask on Your Patient Satisfaction Survey

Abby Nieten
November 7, 2016
Min Read

Post last updated 2/17/2022

Do you know how patients feel about your medical facility? Are they happy with your processes and the overall care they receive? Patient experience is fast becoming a critical element in healthcare.

If you’re not sure, it might be time to distribute a patient satisfaction survey. This type of survey offers a pretty quick path to discovering hidden issues at your health center. And considering 81% of consumers are currently unsatisfied with their healthcare experience, now is a good time to gauge happiness among your patients.

Grab this patient satisfaction survey template and start a free trial of Formstack today.
patient satisfaction survey template

But before you jump right in, you need to ensure your survey is equipped to provide helpful patient feedback. Above all, this means writing good questions that are focused and easy to understand. It also means making sure the feedback you’re seeking (through the patient satisfaction survey questions) is in line with your goals as a facility—such as providing quality, accessible patient care.

To help you get started, here are 5 important patient satisfaction survey questions you should include on your patient satisfaction survey form:

#1: How easy was it to schedule an appointment with our facility?

One area of concern for many health centers is accessibility. If you want to serve satisfied patients, you have to work at providing accessible care. This means patients shouldn’t struggle to get ahold of someone to schedule an appointment, and they shouldn’t have to wait months to see a provider.

To be sure you are meeting patient expectations in this area, it’s a good idea to ask about ease of scheduling appointments. If you find that patients are consistently giving you a bad rating, you likely need to reevaluate your scheduling processes or your staffing needs.

#2: How long did you wait (beyond your appointment time) to be seen by the provider?

Making patients sit in a waiting room for long periods of time is a sure way to see your satisfaction ratings plummet. Successful health care centers do everything they can to show they value their patients’ time, and that includes keeping appointments moving as scheduled.

Asking about appointment wait time on a patient satisfaction survey is another way to evaluate your facility’s care accessibility. If patients are consistently waiting to be seen 20 or more minutes past their appointment times, your facility may need to leave more time between appointments or address issues of inefficiency.

Related: Transforming Your Patient Check-In Process

#3: How satisfied are you with the cleanliness and appearance of our facility?

Cleanliness is a highly important factor in the healthcare arena, and it’s one key indicator of quality. Health facilities are, after all, tasked with preventing or treating illness and infection. Maintaining a clean and inviting environment at your facility should be a priority.

To ensure your health center is meeting the necessary standards when it comes to cleanliness, ask your patients! The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a patient satisfaction survey that all U.S. hospitals are required to distribute, and it includes a section for evaluating facility cleanliness.

#4: How would you rate the overall care you received from your provider?

Patients may be satisfied with the appearance of your facility, but if they don’t have a good experience with the person providing their care, they won’t be back. Healthcare is personal, so providers should be respectful, trustworthy, and knowledgeable. They should spend adequate time addressing patient concerns and shouldn’t make patients feel uncomfortable.

You can quickly determine if a provider is underperforming by including a question on your patient satisfaction survey that reveals the quality of the care received. If a provider consistently receives low ratings, you can take steps to address any issues and improve patient care.

How Digitization Drives Patient Retention blog post

#5: How likely are you to recommend our facility to a friend or family member?

Personal referrals are a great way to grow your patient base. But you won’t get many if existing patients aren’t satisfied with their overall experience at your facility. Every patient touchpoint (i.e., receptionist, nurse, doctor, etc.) can leave a lasting impression.

Find out how patients feel before it’s too late by issuing a satisfaction survey that asks if they would recommend your facility to a friend or relative. If most patients indicate they would refer someone to your health center, you are likely meeting or exceeding patient expectations in all areas—which is the ultimate goal.

Need more survey help? Discover 4 ways to amplify your patient satisfaction surveys.


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Abby Nieten
As Senior Manager, Content Strategy, Abby leads an amazing team of marketing content creators toward a shared content vision. She's been growing with Formstack since 2015 and spent several years as a professional editor before that.
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