Measuring patient experience and satisfaction is a key priority for any health system. ‘Patient Experience’ surveys are typically validated tools that allow providers and health care organizations to collect information from patients about how they experience the health system (whether it be at the primary care or acute hospitalization level). This data can then be analyzed to better understand the patient experience, and to identify areas within the health system that may need improvement. Patient experience data is commonly used to examine performance indicators, thereby informing quality improvement and allowing for the delivery of higher quality, patient-centered care.
While these surveys are commonly collected in acute care (for instance, using the CIHI Canadian Patient Experiences Survey – Inpatient Care (CPES-IC)), they are not often routinely captured in the primary care setting.
In primary care settings, these surveys can inform a host of questions – Are you providing care in a timely fashion? Are you providing care efficiently? How do patients perceive and value your services? What are areas for improvement?
When planning to routinely collect patient experience data, the following should be considered:
- Sample – will you randomly sample a select number of patients, or will you ask all patients to complete your patient experience survey?
- Recall Period – Will you survey patients immediately following their appointment? A week after?
- Mode of Administration – How will you administer the survey to patients? Email, telephone, mail?