Best Patient Satisfaction Survey Questions To Ask (From Experts)

Patient and doctor

In the healthcare industry, prioritizing patient satisfaction has become synonymous with providing quality care. 

Healthcare practices use patient satisfaction surveys to gain valuable insights into patient experiences. These surveys are a powerful tool that allows them to gauge performance, identify areas for improvement, and understand preferences. 

In this article, we uncover the intricacies of patient satisfaction surveys and the benefits they bring to healthcare practices.

What Is a Patient Satisfaction Survey?

A patient satisfaction survey is used to gather information about the patient experience.

These surveys can be conducted through various methods and typically take 2 to 5 minutes to complete. Oftentimes, the research and length method considers what is the best fit for the needs of patients.

Things to Measure For Your Patient Satisfaction Survey

The best patient satisfaction surveys measure key performance indicators (KPIs), feel intuitive for respondents to answer, and are conducted on a routine basis so benchmarks can be established and measured over time. 

A few KPIs to consider are listed below, but it’s important to remember that these surveys can be customized to fit the needs of your patients. 

Patient & Staff Interactions

Wondering what your patients think about their experience with staff? Using surveys to measure patient satisfaction is an effective way to gather the opinions of the administrative team, nurses, and doctors/providers. 

Wait Times

Another common satisfaction measurement is wait times. This could include the waiting room, in the office waiting for the initial nurse, in the office waiting for the main provider, and waiting to finalize the checkout process. 

Quality of Care

Of course, a big topic for patient satisfaction surveys is measuring the quality of care received. This can be measured for the office overall, administrative teams, nurses, and doctors/providers. 

Pre and Post-Visit Touchpoints

Understanding satisfaction is one piece of the puzzle, but it can also be helpful to understand expectations before the visit. Pre and post-visit touchpoints seek to answer that question. 

The questions in a pre-visit touchpoint may ask why patients chose this office/provider, where they have seen or heard about the office/provider in the past 3 months, and preferred methods of communication.

A post-visit touchpoint is posed quickly after the visit while the experience is fresh in their mind. It will ask about the patient experience and their satisfaction throughout their journey. 

Anything Custom For Your Healthcare Business

Have a custom need for your healthcare business? Patient surveys are a great place to test interest in new offerings, processes, perceptions, quality, satisfaction, and more. Research teams can help you measure or test nearly any topic/idea.

The Best Patient Satisfaction Survey Questions We Would Ask

Here are some examples of questions that could be included in a patient satisfaction survey.

Note that these questions are generic and should be customized to fit the unique needs of your patient base. 

  1. What is the first word or phrase that comes to mind when you see or hear [insert healthcare practice]?
    This question asks for a top-of-mind word or phrase. This is a great way to better understand the words associated with a healthcare practice. These responses can be insightful to understand patients’ perceptions of the practice. 

  2. How likely would you be to recommend [insert healthcare practice] to a friend or family member?
    This question measures net promoter score (NPS), which is a commonly used metric to understand likelihood to recommend. This is also a great question to include because you can use the results as a benchmark for your healthcare NPS to compare your organization to the industry.

  3. Why did you rate  [insert healthcare practice] as [insert response] out of 10?
    A follow-up question after an NPS rating is selected is a great way to understand what is driving the score for a practice. These results can identify core competencies and improvement opportunities.

  4. How satisfied are you with each of the following?
    Answer options may include: receptionist(s)/administrative staff, nurse(s), primary provider, overall cleanliness, overall quality of care provider, time spent waiting in the waiting room, time spent waiting for the nurse, and time spent waiting for the provider.

    This question set is a great way to measure levels of satisfaction for various core touchpoints during the patient experience. 

  5. How likely are you to switch primary care physicians in the next 2 years?
    Wondering if patients want to make a switch? This question is a great way to identify and create profiles of patients who are most likely to consider switching. 

  6. What is the perception of [insert healthcare practice] in the community? 
    Oftentimes, healthcare practices spend time on their public image. When it comes to healthcare services, word of mouth and perception can be insightful to understand. 

  7. Where have you seen or heard of [insert healthcare practice] in the past 3 months?
    Wondering how well your messaging or advertising is resonating with your patients? A survey is a great way to measure which messaging tactics are most likely to be recalled. 

  8. How do you prefer to communicate with [insert healthcare practice]?
    Understanding communication preferences is important, especially for healthcare services. 

How Best To Do a Patient Satisfaction Survey

The best patient satisfaction surveys are conducted in a way that meets patients where they are and feels intuitive to answer. The process begins with a kickoff call to align the goals and objectives among the healthcare practice and research teams.

After the kickoff is complete, the research team will then design the study keeping the goals and patient experience top of mind. Once finalized, the research team will then conduct the study and analyze the results. 

Benefits of Running a Patient Satisfaction Survey

The top three benefits of running a patient satisfaction survey are to identify core competencies (i.e., what your healthcare practice does best), areas of improvement, and drivers that create highly satisfied patients.

Understanding each of these provides the healthcare practice the opportunity to target their efforts on factors that will have a truly positive impact on their patient experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions About a Patient Satisfaction Survey

How do you create a patient satisfaction survey?

These surveys typically include a variety of closed and open-ended questions. A common practice for survey writing is to start with broad, overarching questions and then get more specific as the survey progresses. 

What are 6 sample questions for a practice patient survey?

Six sample questions for a practice patient survey could be 1) top of mind word association, 2) NPS, 3) reasoning for NPS, 4) satisfaction with the quality of care, 5) factors of importance when choosing a practice, and 6) likelihood to switch to a different practice. 

Contact Our Patient Satisfaction Survey 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 Director of Operations, 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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