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Providing Healthcare Feedback for Better Patient Care

January 08, 2018

Bill Gates said, “We all need people who will give us feedback. That's how we improve.”

And it’s true, regardless of profession; feedback is what helps us better ourselves. The same rings true for the health care providers in your life.

One of the greatest gifts you can give your health team is patient feedback about the care they supplied. Answering your health team’s questions and surveys about their service helps them improve their delivery of care, how they use resources and even reduces costs, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The solicited feedback you supply—which can be online, in print, by phone, or part of medical records—is designed to help clinicians improve care.

The main objectives health care teams have in asking for feedback include:

  • Helping doctors, clinicians and health care organization leaders to evaluate their performance.
  • Encouraging a dialog among team members to prioritize areas that need improvement.
  • Motivating teammates to improve.

The most common topics covered in surveys are:

  • Access to care
  • Quality of care
  • Coordination of care
  • Confidence in providers
  • Appointment experience

Here’s a rundown of simple ways to provide patient feedback that can help your doctor and health team improve.
  • Be specific: When addressing what or how something was done in your feedback, don’t be vague. Try to be succinct and detailed so the health team understands your comment and can make necessary changes.
  • Know the scale: Many times, surveys will provide you with a scale to rank the quality of care on a specific topic. These can be 1-5, 1-10, or 1-20. Take a moment to consider the answer before you fill in your number on the scale.
  • Fill out the open-ended questions: When providing feedback, the blank sections can be a helpful place to fill in your specific thoughts on care. These notes can help your care team make improvements.