4 reasons you should run hospital surveys online

It’s easy to neglect the meat of hospital surveys when you’re lost in the details. The goal of these surveys is to engage patients or staff members, evaluate hospital performance, and ultimately improve the quality of hospital care, but sometimes the hassle of conducting the survey hijacks the project.

You know the drill: Keep paper surveys well-stocked, make sure each copy of the survey is up to date, hand out clipboards, collect clipboards, enter the data into your hospital management software manually, and—finally—pore over the results. The complicated workflow wastes staff members’ time and tests their patience.

Enter online surveys. By putting your surveys online, you can collect data more efficiently and save hours of administrative work. Here are 4 reasons you should use online hospital surveys to collect, aggregate, and analyze information from your patients and staff members:

1. Manage huge volumes of hospital surveys at once

It’s time to get rid of those overstuffed hospital filing cabinets. Online surveys eliminate huge amounts of paperwork, so that routine surveys—like the HCAHPS® Survey and the AHRQ® Patient Safety Culture Survey—are far more manageable. Here’s how you can improve the efficiency of your hospital surveys:

  • Send out the survey by email or hand a tablet to patients sitting in the waiting room. Sometimes, all it takes to get information from hundreds of staff members is one email. Likewise, thousands of patients can answer questions about their health, symptoms, and satisfaction on hospital computers.
  • Easily see and store thousands of completed surveys. Once your staff members or patients complete your survey, it’s easy to store all the surveys on a secure online platform. Pull up individual surveys as needed.
  • Manage all your hospital surveys on one platform. If you conduct several surveys—a HCAHPS® Survey for patients and a AHRQ® Patient Safety Culture Survey for staff members, for example—it’s easy to keep them organized on an online platform.

2. Guarantee compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

All hospitals prioritize patient privacy because it’s the right thing to do and, also, because it’s the law. Protect the information that your patients volunteer in your surveys with secure software that complies with HIPAA guidelines.

HIPAA considers many surveys, including HCAHPS®, to be part of a hospital’s health care operations. Depending on how you use the information in your surveys, you may also need to include a disclaimer or obtain consent from the patient directly in the survey.

3. Aggregate and analyze hospital survey results in seconds

If you’re evaluating something wholesale, like patient satisfaction, you want to include as many voices as possible in your survey results. In fact, one of the main reasons to survey patients and hospital staff is to obtain statistically reliable data to inform hospital decision making.

With an online platform, you can instantly combine data from thousands of participants so that you can see, immediately, what most patients and staff think of the hospital’s care. React faster and more effectively to improve the quality of your care by taking advantage of aggregated data.

4. Improve the quality of care at your hospital

The ultimate aim of any hospital survey is, of course, to gather information that will improve the quality of care at your hospital. There is a strong correlation between the results of HCAHPS® and AHRQ® Patient Safety Culture surveys, which suggests that these surveys do accurately reflect the quality of care your hospital delivers.

By surveying your patients, you can determine whether or not your hospital lives up to its expectations. To weed out financial waste and identify pain points, ask questions that reference specific departments, doctors, and services. While the HCAHPS® survey is a solid baseline for patient satisfaction surveys, more effective surveys delve deeper into the patient’s experience and come up with actionable data.

Discover which employees are engaged in their work and which need more support from administrators by surveying your staff members. In the survey, ask your staff to evaluate the usefulness of specific administrative procedures. The results will draw your attention to ineffective hospital policies that make it difficult for doctors, nurses, and other staff members to provide quality care.

Sometimes hospitals don’t have a choice. If your hospital accepts Medicare or Medicaid, for example, all your patients (minus psychiatric patients) must complete the HCAHPS® survey. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rewards those hospitals that meet high standards for quality of care through programs like the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program.

Quality initiatives and reimbursements like these, plus good old-fashioned market pressures, reward your hospital financially for improving the quality of its care. You are more likely than ever to receive a positive return on investment for each survey you conduct. Start building your online hospital survey today by exploring these templates from SurveyMonkey: