3 Ways to Increase Patient Experience Survey Response Rates

/ 2 September 2021

Patient surveys are a useful tool for healthcare insurance providers who want to garner satisfaction and experience from service users. However, to get the best possible idea of satisfaction levels or experiences, you need to get as many people as possible responding to your survey.

In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of patient surveys and list three ways you can increase response rates.

The importance of patient surveys

First and foremost, why do patient surveys matter? Above all else, they provide an insight into how well your company is performing and a better understanding of how you can improve. Most importantly, those insights come directly from those who matter. Responses to a survey are not vague ideas plucked out of thin air. They’re genuine opinions based on real experiences from the people that matter.

Does right, patient surveys can create a two-way value exchange, which can lead to permissioned, Earned Data. In this case, by consenting their data, patients will get an improved or more relevant service. However, trust is a key element to Earned Data. That’s especially true in healthcare due to the sensitive nature of the information being submitted. Put simply, to earn data, your customers must be able to trust that their data will be handled with care.

On top of all that, patient surveys also have a cost advantage. Normally, to identify ways of improving your services, you might have to invest in market research or expensive third-party services. In contrast, simply asking users for feedback can provide equally useful points at a fraction of the cost – and it’s usually much quicker too.

Improving response rates for patient surveys

1.    Make it quick

If a friend asked for ten minutes of your time, you probably wouldn’t think twice. But if they needed your help for an hour, you might start thinking of ways to get out of it. With that in mind, the first way to maximize response rates is to make your survey quick and enjoyable.

Even people who start a survey with good intentions can lose focus and interest. Eventually, they’ll rush the survey or not complete it at all. Research by Survey Monkey found that surveys exceeding 7-8 minutes saw completion rates drop by up to 20%.

They also found the more questions you ask, the less time respondents spend answering each question. In fact, the time spent on each question halved for surveys over the 30-question mark.

The golden rule here? Stay relevant. Before building your survey, have a good idea of what you want to gain from it. Then build the survey around that. It’s no use asking questions about someone’s lifestyle and general health if the primary objective is to improve support and aftercare.

Sure, it’s great to get even more bang for your buck (or data from your survey). But based on the findings above, that could come at a cost to the time spent answering questions which really matter. So only gather the data you will utilize.

2.    Make it worth their while

When you have a trusting relationship with someone, there’s often an unspoken agreement that favors will be reciprocated or rewarded. If someone helps you move house, you buy them dinner. Or at the very least, they assume you’ll return the favor when they’re on the move.

This brings us to the next way you can improve response rates on your patient experience questionnaire. Incentivize it. It’s not uncommon for companies to offer monetary incentives such as coupons and gift cards for popular stores.

Whatever the case, incentives have been proven to work very well. A 2019 study found that even a small cash incentive of just $2 per participant increased response rates so much that it was actually more cost-effective overall.

3.    Make it easy

Can you recommend a restaurant for dinner? Sure. Can you write it out and send it by post? Maybe not. People are more likely to do something if it’s quick and convenient and you’ll get a better response rate the easier your patient satisfaction survey is to complete.

Nowadays, people carry their smartphones everywhere they go. Even more notably, they spend an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes on them every day. That includes passing time on the daily commute, scrolling through social media on lunch break or just checking the phone before bed.

The takeaway – if you can make your survey accessible on mobile devices, you’ll significantly increase the chances of people responding.

How gamification can help

If you’re looking to improve response rates for a patient experience questionnaire, gamification could be the answer. It refers to the use of game science and mechanics in non-game experiences, such as patient surveys.

Above all else, gamification can make patient satisfaction surveys more engaging, fun, and interesting, which makes them more enjoyable and increases motivation to complete them.

On top of that, gamification makes it easier for patients to complete your questionnaire with access to a bespoke app via mobile or desktop devices.

Level up your patient survey

Maximizing response rates is vital if you want to gain more insight from your patient experience questionnaire. At 3radical, we can help you do exactly that with gamified engagement solutions for the healthcare sector.

Keep patients engaged throughout the delivery of your services to earn data, build relationships and improve the experience both short-term and long-term. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

Our website uses cookies to help us to understand how you use it. By continuing to use our website you consent to our use of such cookies. For more information please read our privacy policy.