South Florida Hospital News
Monday August 19, 2019

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November 2007 - Volume 4 - Issue 5




Translate Information Into Action with Realtime Survey Applications

Customer and employee satisfaction surveys are useful as long as you have the discipline to take action on what you learn from the surveys using accountable, focused performance improvement teams. You have to see to it that the survey information is translated into action in order to get the results you expect.

On the survey side of the equation, there are many applications for stationary or mobile survey data entry stations that will increase survey response rates, reduce data handling costs, and reduce the time from customer/employee feedback to corrective action. A few examples that I hope will help you visualize how various data entry applications apply to healthcare.

Physician practices and outpatient operations (clinics, emergency departments, diagnostics imaging centers, etc.) can use stationary data entry stations to gather "realtime" patient satisfaction information at checkout. These short patient satisfaction surveys take less than a minute to complete and patients appreciate being asked for their feedback. This approach yields larger sample size and reduces the negative bias that is built into a mailed paper survey. "Realtime" data also enables daily service recovery and performance improvement reports, which gives management the tools to quickly identify and act upon serious problems. Mobile data entry devices can also be used to enter patient feedback gathered via interview at the point of discharge.

An ER patient completing a Realtime Patient Satisfaction Survey prior to discharge via table personal computer.

Hospitals can use Internet-based employee satisfaction surveys to increase the frequency of administration while reducing costs. Computer literacy and computer access make this an attractive alternative to a paper survey administered annually.

One of our hospital clients has taken this concept to the next level by linking the on-line employee satisfaction survey we developed for them to on-line educational modules their employees are required to use. This system provides them with statistically significant monthly data so they can closely monitor and react to trends. In addition, their Employee Advisory Group reviews the information every month. This helps them maintain an ongoing focus on improving the employee satisfaction scores. With no special promotion or oversight of the survey administration process, this hospitalís monthly survey participation rate averages 85%, and its turnover rate is consistently lower than that of any of our other hospital clients.

Survey systems, such as the one I described above, are inexpensive ways to collect "realtime" information to help you retain customers and employees. Unfortunately, many managers view a survey system as a cost rather than an investment that leads to increased profitability. I would point out to those managers that the only assets in any business are satisfied customers and employees. If we are not measuring and working diligently to improve customer and employee satisfaction, we wonít be in business for very long.

The Doug Williams Group, is a results-oriented professional services firm that specializes in all aspects of performance improvement. Serving all industries, the firm helps its clients improve customer satisfaction, improve employee satisfaction, and increase profitability. Shazmin Bhanji, Vice President of Business Development, can be reached by phone at (305) 598-9880 or via e-mail at To view services and success stories visit the firmís web site at
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