How your EHR's patient feedback module can encourage best practice
Most EHR systems offer a patient portal with the option of a patient feedback module. This can be an invaluable module in your EHR system, making a great difference in the operations and outcomes of your practice. Patient feedback can be obtained through patient portals, automated surveys, and outcome tracking tools. The most direct feedback is from patient portals, which allow them to either provide direct written input on their experiences or answer pre-established questionnaires.
What your patient feedback can tell you
Patient feedback can give greater insight into the experiences that your patients are having. It is important to note, however, that people who leave feedback may be on the ends of the spectrum, feeling motivated to leave very positive or very negative feedback. Individuals with average experiences may not find the motivation or need to leave feedback, as they may feel it is not noteworthy.
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The value of patient feedback in an EHR system is significant. Instead of using a research committee, marketing team or spending money mailing surveys to patients, the EHR system can gather patient feedback without needing to hire more employees or pay for additional services.
The data provided should be used to identify areas for improvement and identify strengths of the medical practice. Examining feedback will give insight as to the ways your practice is delivering patient care. You will discover examples of best practice, areas where lessons can be learned, as well as areas of concern.
Processing feedback: best practices
In order to use the feedback, it is important to first categorize the information. Feedback can be categorized into topics such as customer service, practice operations, bedside manner, clinical outcomes, and overall patient satisfaction. By categorizing the patient feedback, the practice will be able to identify areas that need improvement and areas that are performing well. Once the practice identifies the areas that need improvement, it is essential to dig further to identify who is involved and where there is a breakdown. This information should be categorized, saved and tracked.
By categorizing and tracking both positive and negative reviews, the practice will be able to monitor for trends and common themes. For example, the practice may find that there are consistently negative reviews regarding practice operations, in the form of long waiting times. By tracking this feedback, the practice may be able to address patient intake processes, scheduling, or staffing issues.
Additionally, the practice may find a common theme of positive feedback for patients with diabetes, but poor feedback for those with cardiovascular disease. The practice may be able to search further into patient outcomes for these diseases to see if there is a correlation between outcomes and feedback. The practice may need to improve their patient care for cardiovascular conditions. This will help refine best practice across a number of areas and optimize patient experience.
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