11 Powerful Initiatives That Use Patient Feedback to Improve Care

Woman talking to her colleagues

Patient feedback is an instrumental tool for gauging patient outcomes and enhancing the quality of care. Feedback enables healthcare providers and patients to collaborate, tailor care plans, and make shared decisions. It also sheds light on patient satisfaction levels and reveals areas that need improvement. 

Actively seeking and analyzing patient feedback allows organizations to pinpoint service gaps and roll out initiatives to enhance patient care and delivery. Through electronic health records (EHRs) and patient engagement technologies, behavioral health and human services (BHHS) providers can now capture and analyze valuable patient feedback more efficiently than ever.

Here, we’ll delve into the importance of omnichannel patient feedback design and delivery, offer strategic initiatives, and examine how patient-centric technologies can result in superior care outcomes. 

By understanding the needs and preferences of patients, healthcare organizations can deploy targeted interventions, streamline processes, and optimize resource allocation.

Understanding Patient Feedback

Information from patients about the care and services they receive can be very useful. But patient feedback is more than just measuring patient satisfaction metrics. Patient feedback surveys can also shed light on systemic issues that may not be obvious to clinicians and staff. Patient feedback can highlight areas where policies or procedures may be outdated or ineffective. Positive feedback can boost morale while negative feedback exposes opportunities for improvement. 

Key Factors for a Better Patient Feedback Program

A successful patient feedback program involves active listening, data collection through various channels, and timely, effective responses to patients, families, caregivers, and alumni. Here’s a closer look. 

Design for Active Listening

You’re probably familiar with active listening as a therapeutic communication technique to ensure the speaker feels heard and understood. In the context of patient feedback surveys, active listening refers to designing, implementing, and reacting in a way that demonstrates concern and attentiveness.

By actively listening to patient feedback, behavioral health providers can better understand the challenges patients and caregivers face.

It’s important to use a mix of short-answer and open-ended questions when designing patient feedback. These formats capture the nuanced experiences of patients and keep the topics relevant to the care journey. 

Some common surveys, questionnaires, and assessments to capture patient feedback include the following:

  • Patient feedback forms are short questionnaires that ask patients about their experience with a healthcare provider, facility, or service
  • Follow-up surveys are usually online or telephone surveys sent to patients within 24 hours of care delivery
  • Sample surveys are lengthy patient satisfaction surveys often sent by mail to a random sample of adult patients between 48 hours and six weeks after care 
  • One-on-one conversations can provide a direct analysis of the patient’s experiences 
  • Patient experience surveys, such as the Hospital-CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey for satisfaction and experiences
  • In-depth interviews are one-on-one discussions to explore thoughts, feelings, and experiences in detail
  • Focus groups are interviews that allow researchers to gather insights on a topic from a diverse group of people
  • Social media and online reviews may be unsolicited but provide valuable insights and should be monitored for follow-up and to maintain your online reputation

Offer Omnichannel Interactions

Recent research found that healthcare services using omnichannel strategies can better deliver frictionless, personalized patient care experiences. In addition to improving patient engagement and satisfaction, omnichannel approaches improve access to care, especially for underserved populations. It also improves communication and coordination among healthcare providers. 

It's important to provide an omnichannel feedback experience so you can meet patients, caregivers, and alums where they are. This might mean offering surveys by email, text, phone calls, in-person, online, and via mobile patient engagement apps. BHHS organizations that gather feedback from patients throughout their care journey will have a better understanding of patient survey responses and pinpoint areas that need improvement.

11 Strategic Initiatives Based on Patient Feedback Analysis

Patient feedback: parents and their child playing chess

Incorporating feedback into behavioral health services promotes patient satisfaction and ensures providers are always looking for ways to improve the quality of care. Here are 11 more initiatives supported by patient feedback.

1. Customizing Patient Care Plans

When patient feedback suggests that healthcare services aren't meeting individual needs, providers should emphasize tailoring treatment plans with patient care journeys. This ensures a focus on the well-being and unique requirements of each patient.

2. Elevating Communication Skills

Negative feedback about communication signals a need to improve. Initiatives could include training for healthcare professionals, regular patient support touchpoints, and open forums that allow patients to voice their concerns.

3. Enhancing Accessibility to Resources

Based on survey results indicating confusion about specific conditions or treatments, medical practices can develop educational templates, workshops, or focus groups tailored to patient needs.

4. Addressing Appointment Delays

Tackling feedback about long wait times might involve benchmark metrics, streamlining primary care appointment scheduling, hiring additional staff, or integrating telehealth.

5. Adopting Modern Technology

Patient feedback indicating a tilt toward digital communication suggests the introduction of patient portals, apps, and teletherapy, enhancing patient engagement and the overall experience.

6. Expanding Treatment Options

Patient feedback that indicates a gap in care is concerning. BHHS providers can cater to a broader spectrum of patient needs by incorporating diverse modalities like contingency management, art therapy, or mindfulness practices.

7. Amplifying Post-Treatment Follow-Up

Real-time feedback on post-treatment support can lead to the rollout of alumni programs, follow-up touchpoints, and support groups, ensuring long-term patient retention.

8. Boosting Family-Centric Approaches

Feedback that underscores the value of family in health care points towards initiatives like family therapy, educational sessions, and support groups for loved ones.

9. Prioritizing Patient Safety and Trust

Any feedback related to patient safety concerns should initiate immediate investigations, enhanced protocols, or third-party mediation. This will reinforce the healthcare provider's commitment to patient safety.

10. Instituting Continuous Feedback Mechanisms

To ensure healthcare services evolve, organizations can implement post-treatment feedback systems, such as alumni surveys, satisfaction surveys, and suggestion boxes. 

11. Promoting Cultural Sensitivity

Case study methodology might reveal cultural gaps, pointing towards the necessity of cultural sensitivity training for all involved.

Leverage Technology to Collect and Analyze Patient Feedback

Patient feedback: colleagues clapping their hands

Technology and patient-centered strategies are merging in health care. New platforms and tools like patient-reported outcome measures capture how patients feel and amplify their voices to ensure their concerns are prioritized. The ability to leverage technology is foremost in BHHS organizations aiming to improve care. 

ContinuumCloud makes it easy to design, deliver, and analyze omnichannel patient feedback. The CaredFor app allows you to gather feedback from patients through surveys, assessments, and messaging. 

Moreover, both the CaredFor app and ContinuumCloud’s EHR help you generate reports that summarize patient feedback data and make it easier to identify trends. By using the integrated CaredFor app and EHR, which are designed specifically for those in behavioral health and human services, you can develop a full omnichannel patient feedback program to improve the patient experience and provide better care. 

Here are some of the ways ContinuumCloud can improve your patient feedback process.

Delivery: With automated distribution, EHR systems and patient engagement platforms can streamline patient feedback surveys post-appointment, ensuring timely and consistent data collection without manual intervention.

Personalization: Our EHR and patient engagement solutions contain comprehensive patient data. Technology makes it easy to tailor surveys to individual patient experiences, which increases their relevance and the likelihood of completion. 

Patient centricity: Patient engagement platforms make it easier to focus on patient centricity by sending custom surveys with patient-specific questions and responding with personal feedback. With these options, you can improve the patient experience on a case-by-case basis. 

Patient support: You can also customize surveys for groups or specific patient populations. For instance, surveys keep alums, family members, and caregivers connected to your organization even after they leave the treatment setting. A comprehensive EHR solution with patient engagement features makes it easy to onboard new patients.

Integration: Within a comprehensive EHR solution, patient survey data can be directly linked to a patient's medical record, allowing providers to view feedback alongside relevant clinical data.

Real-time insights: Mobile platforms with nimble patient feedback systems can provide instant feedback analysis, giving organizations quick insights into patient sentiments, concerns, or areas of excellence.

Segmented analysis: Mobile patient engagement platforms can segment feedback based on demographics, treatment type, or specific providers, allowing for targeted analysis and actions.

Trend tracking: Over time, mobile platforms can track and highlight emerging trends in feedback, pointing out consistent strengths or areas that need attention.

Collaborative action planning: EHR software facilitates collaboration among care teams. When feedback indicates a concern, care teams (including remote workforces) can jointly review and devise an action plan within the EHR remotely.

Direct communication: Mobile patient engagement platforms can help your team communicate privately and directly with patients. If a concern is raised, organizations can reach out to the patient, informing them about steps taken to address the issue and ensuring their concerns are validated.

Digital interventions: Using technology through digital devices and mobile platforms to deliver behavioral healthcare interventions can help support mental health and well-being in real time.

Take Action for a Better Patient Feedback Program Today 

Patient feedback is a vital component of the healthcare quality improvement process. It provides valuable insight into the patient experience, satisfaction levels, and areas for improvement. Omnichannel approaches can ensure you're consistently in tune with patient needs by leveraging technological solutions like patient engagement apps and EHRs with integrated feedback modules. 

For instance, the CaredFor app prioritizes real-time feedback to offer healthcare providers actionable insights while ContinuumCloud's EHR goes beyond traditional record-keeping to provide integrated survey and engagement modules. 

To learn how embracing these tools can help you streamline processes and emphasize your dedication to patient-centric care, connect with us today. 

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