Patient Loyalty Surveys: How (& Why) to Run Them

doctor shaking patients hand

Market research and healthcare seem to go hand-in-hand these days.

That's because healthcare market research such as patient loyalty surveys provides healthcare practices with a better understanding of similarities and differences among their patients. 

Healthcare practices often want to better understand the patient experience and levels of satisfaction.

The results from these studies are often broken down by several different factors such as:

  • Level of insurance 
  • Insurance carrier
  • Primary care physician
  • Office location
  • Age

We’ll cover the objectives, approach, and results for this patient survey – but first, we want to give you a quick rundown of why patient loyalty in healthcare is so important in the first place.

Importance of Patient Loyalty

We said earlier that healthcare and market research go together. 


Because market research tools (such as patient loyalty surveys) allow practitioners to form better patient relationships and protocols. 

In the wake of COVID-19, it was found that roughly 59% of patients noticed a difference in how they interacted with their medical team.

Because interaction is such a key role in the patient experience, surveys are needed now more than ever to understand the evolution of patient-provider relationships. 

While many of the same strategies of standard customer surveys go into creating a patient survey, they differ in the sense that information about medical care is at their center. 

This emphasis on the human experience makes surveys an invaluable source for medical practices. 

For instance, patient surveys can result in: 

  • Improved marketing strategies for practices
  • Improved services
  • Better insight into the patient experience
  • Patient empowerment

All of these benefits can lead to increased awareness of medical practices, as well as more patients.

Recommended methodologies

Our healthcare market research firm can conduct patient loyalty testing through many different types of methodologies.

Some of these include: 

  • Community surveys: This method aims to gather the overall perception of medical practices within a community. Research for community awareness focuses on how to improve the image of a facility.
  • Focus groups: These are ideal for understanding patient and employee experiences in the healthcare space.
  • In-depth interviews (IDIs): Patient IDIs act as a deep dive into attitudes, experiences, and overall thoughts about a healthcare facility. These are especially ideal for sensitive topics, as IDIs only involve a moderator and interviewee. 

Building patient loyalty is essential for a thriving medical practice. However market research is done to uncover this, it’s key that the right tools are used for the right settings.

Whether you’re conducting a patient satisfaction survey, the questions you ask matter. Herein lies the value of working with a third party who has experience working in the healthcare industry.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Market research tackles the patient experience from a number of angles. In the case of patient loyalty, surveys are a fantastic way to gather necessary feedback and data. 

Common Objectives of Measuring Patient Loyalty

A healthcare practice partnered with Drive Research for a patient loyalty survey. This loyalty survey focused on collecting feedback from patients who are enrolled in Medicare (a federal insurance program for people who are 65 or older).

The healthcare market research was part of a multi-step project which will involve surveying commercial patients and regional physicians. 

The Medicare patient survey addressed several core objectives, including: 

  • Patient loyalty to the primary care physician (PCP)
  • Patient loyalty to the practice
  • Patient loyalty to their current insurance carrier
  • Likelihood and motivations to switch physicians

The survey also addressed other secondary objectives of the healthcare practice, aside from patient satisfaction and loyalty.

The Medicare market research gathered an honest perspective on metrics through a third-party lens. Additionally, the feedback collected from patients will aid the client with operations, marketing, and strategy decisions. 

Wondering why using a third-party market research company is important? We’ve got you covered.

Approach to Conducting a Patient Loyalty Survey

To address the objectives at hand, our healthcare market research company recommended using an email survey to collect patient feedback. Email surveys are cost-effective, offer a quick turn-around, are measurable, and gather quality data.

The combination of these benefits creates a strong ROI for our healthcare clients over other methodologies such as telephone or mail surveys. 

The timeline for this Medicare patient survey was extremely aggressive. The project was inquired about on December 23, kicked off on December 28, a draft survey was delivered to the client on December 31 and launched on January 7. 

The patient survey took an average of 12 minutes to complete and included 20 questions. The survey received 495 responses. Fieldwork for the survey began on January 7 and lasted until January 9. 

The reliability of this data is high. At the 95% confidence interval, the margin of error for these results is +/- 4%. This means if the survey was conducted with another 495 random Medicare patients, results would yield within +4% or -4% of the total 95 out of 100 times.

Wondering how the margin of error is calculated? We’ve got you covered there too. 

Results of Surveying Patients

The results of the study remain strictly confidential with the healthcare client. The report included background and methodology, an executive summary of themes, an infographic, and respondent persona. The appendix included a detailed question-by-question breakdown of the results. 

The executive summary answered the following questions:

  1. Are Medicare patients satisfied with the practice?
  2. Are Medicare patients satisfied with their PCP?
  3. Do Medicare patients trust their PCP?
  4. Why would Medicare patients switch?
  5. Are Medicare patients satisfied with their insurance carrier?
  6. Are Medicare patients interested in additional services?

Curious about other common types of health care market research? Common studies include patient satisfaction surveys, in-depth interviews (IDIs), community surveys, physician surveys and interviews, and focus groups. Learn more about healthcare market research

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a market research company located serving healthcare organizations across the country. Our team has the knowledge and tools to design any quantitative or qualitative market research study for your practice. 

Interested in learning more about our market research services for healthcare providers? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily taylor about the author

Emily Taylor

As a Senior Research Analyst, Emily is approaching a decade of experience in the market research industry and loves to challenge the status quo. She is a certified VoC professional with a passion for storytelling.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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