Patient Satisfaction Surveys: How Strategies Equal Solutions

nurse looking at patient data

Patient satisfaction surveys, sometimes referred to as patient affinity surveys, are a common methodology in healthcare market research.

A patient affinity survey answers the following questions:

  1. How satisfied are patients?
  2. Do patients trust their primary care physician (PCP)?
  3. How likely are patients to switch physicians? Why?
  4. How likely are patients to switch medical practices? Why?
  5. How can the medical practice improve patient satisfaction?

Our healthcare market research firm recently conducted this type of survey for a medical practice. This blog post will outline the objectives, the approach, and conclude with the patient satisfaction survey results

Commercial Patient Affinity Survey Objectives

Up to 68% of patients think their providers need to up their game when it comes to interaction. The topics our specific healthcare survey covered all play into how a practice can improve the overall patient experience. 

Drive Research was hired to conduct a survey with commercial patients of a medical practice.

The patient survey addressed the following core objectives:

  1. Patient loyalty to the primary care physician (PCP)
  2. Patient loyalty to the medical practice
  3. Patient loyalty to their current insurance carrier
  4. Likelihood and motivations to switch physicians 

The patient satisfaction survey explored opportunities for new insurance products for patients and an understanding of the value of health care in the medical practice. There were also secondary objectives addressed by the research study. 

The healthcare market research gathered an honest perspective on metrics through a third-party lens. The outcomes of the market research aided the client with operations, marketing, and strategy.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Patient satisfaction surveys gather important data on the protocols of a medical facility. For this particular case, we focused on PCP loyalty and health insurance. 

Approach to the Patient Satisfaction Survey

In order to collect survey responses, Drive Research followed the following process:

  1. Program the survey into our online software system.
  2. Review the survey with our internal testing team.
  3. Send a link to the medical practice so their team can test the survey and request any changes.
  4. Create an email requesting patients of the medical practice to respond to the satisfaction survey.
  5. Soft-launch the email survey - here's why.
  6. Fully launch the email patient satisfaction survey.
  7. Analyze the results as they are submitted.
  8. Send a reminder email to patients of the medical practice.
  9. Close fieldwork and clean the survey data

It’s essential that a market research team has a programming checklist for surveys. This ensures the project runs smoothly and gathers clear data. 

Fieldwork for the patient survey began on March 11 and lasted until March 19, 2020.

The commercial survey took an average of 10 minutes to complete and included 38 questions. The survey received 469 completes. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: We followed a strict checklist for the survey. This allows us to work effectively with the client throughout the entire project.

Analyzing the Patient Satisfaction Survey Results 

The report included a background and methodology, an executive summary of themes, an infographic, respondent persona, recommendations, and the next steps for market research. The appendix included a detailed question-by-question breakdown of the results.

The executive summary answered the following questions:

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

The reliability of this data is high.

At the 95% confidence interval, the margin of error for these results is +/- 4.5%. This means if the survey was conducted with another 469 random commercial patients, results would yield within +4.5% or -4.5% of the totals 95 out of 100 times.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Our extensive summary of the research project contained reliable data on all topics covered. 

Benefits of Using a Third-Pary Survey Company

Conflicted about whether to use a third-party research team to help you with your patient satisfaction surveys? 

We’ll help you with that decision. 

While a healthcare facility could conduct market research with doctors and physicians internally, it’s not ideal.

When you want a survey that actually yields good feedback, it’s best to let the experts handle the work. This not only allows for solid survey data, but it allows the healthcare team to focus on what they do best: helping people!

We’ll put it like this: there are loads of benefits of using a third-party market research firm, but we’ll list off some of our favorites for you. 


If your healthcare facility ran an internal survey for patients, there’s a lack of objectivity. Sure, you can try your best to act as if you’re a third party, but it’s going to be hard to differentiate yourself from your patient feedback. 

After all, the patients are what keep your facility functioning–what they say may hit you on a different level than it would an outside team. 

It’s likely some of the feedback you’ll receive may be negative–and that’s okay. However, it’s a lot more constructive when being delivered to you in a report from an outside team versus reading it first-hand as it comes in. 

You Save Time 

As we touched on earlier, market research is best handled by the pros–like us. 

As a medical facility, there’s already little downtime for additional projects that aren’t directly related to helping your patients. And patient satisfaction in healthcare is everything–you don’t want to take away from that. 

Whether or not you have a marketing or related team that could help run a survey, it could still be sucking time away from other necessary tasks. 

When hiring an outsourced market research company, you’re not only getting professional results–you’re saving yourself a large chunk of time, too. 

Quality Research Tools

The best research is done when high-quality tools and methods are involved. 

Internal teams rarely have this.

This is not an insult, simply a fact–as a facility that specializes in healthcare, there’s no reason you should have access to market research tools. But trust us, you’ll want them when it comes to getting patient feedback. 

Low-quality data won’t help anyone, and you may as well not even run a survey at that point. Third-party teams have a variety of methods and processes to run data through. This ensures the client receives the best data that will yield actionable results. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Want good, solid patient feedback? If your answer was yes, take some time looking for an outsourced research team to help you gather the data your facility needs via patient satisfaction surveys

Contact Our Patient Satisfaction Company 

Drive Research is a full-service market research company. Our experts work with healthcare facilities and medical practices across the country to deliver the insights and data they need to improve the patient experience.

The patient satisfaction project above relayed clear data and actionable insight on how the client could move forward with their new information. 

Interested in partnering with our team on a similar project? Contact us today!

  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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