Obtaining Feedback – Survey your Clinic

Obtaining feedback is an important part of practice. Regulators place strong emphasis on obtaining feedback and responding to it. This has been reflected in the updated HCPC Standards and is already included in the GOsC standards.

We are leading by example by surveying Mint customers this week. We are seeking feedback on our products to help us to develop our products and service. If you have received an invitation to give feedback, please go ahead and complete the short survey.

How have we gone about seeking feedback?

This is the method that we have used to obtain feedback. You could easily replicate it to survey your patients and receive feedback on your practice.

The survey was developed using Survey Monkey. In fact, we wrote two similar surveys to target feedback on different products – the Mint Folder and Mint leaflets. Survey Monkey allows you to develop a survey for free with up to 10 questions, and 100 responses. There are plenty of survey programmes available, many with free packages for one-off surveys.

There are lots of standard questions which you can choose from. These are tailored to elicit useful responses and may inspire you to develop your own questions. There are also lots of question formats which you can use to write your own questions – multiple choice, graded answers, comments etc.

You need to bear in mind – What are you seeking to achieve with the survey? – you may wish to ask questions regarding a particular aspect of practice, or find out how much demand there is for a particular service etc. Make sure the survey you write, achieves your objectives.

Think about the order of responses and how the survey flows. Make it easy to follow and understand.

Test, test, test again. You get the idea! – it is so important to test your survey. First of all, test it yourself, answer each question and make sure you can enter the variations of answers that you would expect – can multiple answers be ticked if appropriate? is there enough space for comments? Then, get others to test the survey – colleagues and other people – make sure the survey questions can be understood. Think about how you will be able to analyse and report the responses? – Do they give a clear outcome?

Do a final check to make sure that it all works, then send it out to your patients and wait for the responses to come in. Survey Monkey provides a good statistical analysis and reporting of your results for you to glean information from.

My experience

When I participated in the GOsC revalidation pilot some years ago I set up a survey in my practice. It gave some interesting results. I discovered that patients were having trouble finding parking, even though there was plenty of free parking within easy walking distance. This was a stimulus to make sure that all patients, especially new ones were informed about all the local parking options. Another outcome was the huge demand for card payments. I soon obtained a card machine after this.

I only work as an associate at the moment but I commend to you the great value of surveying your practice. It’s always nice to receive positive feedback but the most helpful feedback is any negative comments or areas for development that are highlighted giving opportunity to improve practice.

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