To help you develop your surveys, answer these questions as a group in your next staff meeting.
What are the most common compliments we receive from patients/parents?
What are the most common concerns we hear from patients/parents?
What do we want to know about our patients/parents?
What improvements/ changes have we made that benefit patients/parents?
What new services or amenities do we offer to patients/parents?
What benefits will our patient/parent survey provide to our practice?
What are the most common compliments we receive from staff/coworkers?
What are the most common concerns we hear from staff/coworkers?
What do we want to know from staff/co-workers?
What improvements/ changes have we made to employee policies?
What benefits do staff members receive?
What benefits will our staff survey provide to our practice?
Referring Doctor Survey
What are the most common compliments we receive from referring doctors?
What are the most common concerns we hear from referring doctors?
What do we want to know from referring doctors?
What improvements/ changes have we made to our referral process?
What benefits will our referring-doctor survey provide to our practice?
Guidelines for Survey Success
When developing your own survey, use this checklist as a final review:
Is the tone of each question polite and friendly?
Is each question easy to understand and answer?
Are any questions inappropriate, or do they pry too much?
Will the survey responses be easy to tabulate and summarize?
If we repeat the survey, can we easily compare results over time?
Do we assure respondents of confidentiality?
Make your survey a win-win by getting everyone involved. Solicit input from the entire dental team, and reward their efforts.
Protect respondent confidentiality:
- Don’t require respondents to identify themselves.
- For in-office surveys, provide envelopes so completed surveys can be sealed.
- Use an independent third party to tabulate data and prepare a summary report.
Conducting a survey creates the expectation that improvements will soon follow. Ignoring feedback is worse than not gathering it at all. Be prepared to make changes to achieve practice goals and meet the needs of your patients, parents, staff, and/or referring doctors.
With your survey results in hand, create an action plan to implement improvements that includes clearly identifiable milestones for reaching goals and objectives. Seek expert assistance for additional training and the development of new systems.
Use your first survey as a benchmark, and conduct follow-up surveys annually to monitor the progress of your practice.