General Question

flip86's avatar

Do you fill out hospital surveys?

Asked by flip86 (6172points) June 6th, 2014

Every time my daughter has a doctors appointment, we get a survey in the mail 3 or 4 days later. I always trash them.

Do you ever fill them out? I mean, some people must, or they wouldn’t waste time and resources sending them out.

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18 Answers

hearkat's avatar

The trend is starting where these surveys will impact exactly how the providers and facilities get reimbursed. It’s starting with Medicare, but usually other Insurers follow suit eventually.

You know how the car dealership asks you to fill out the survey and tells you that only a “10” (the highest rating) counts? That is how this system is currently structured. Retail is a whole different ‘industry’ than health care. Some people have chronic, progressive conditions that will get worse even with the best home care and response to medical treatments. Providers instruct patients not to engage in behavior that contributes to or exacerbates disease, like eating well, exercise and quitting smoking – but people often don’t comply then come in and want a pill that will fix the problem that they’ve created or made worse. What about providers who work in low-income communities, where the patients have less control over their environment or whose educational or intellectual levels aren’t adequate for them to fully understand the diagnosis and treatment instructions? And then there’s the mental health and emotional variable – such as hypochondriacs and those who go from provider to provider until someone tells them what they want to hear, which may not necessarily be the most sound medical or ethical advice?

Trying to rate healthcare providers on outcomes and patient satisfaction is like trying to rate teachers on students’ test scores. There are too many variables that are beyond the professional’s control. I understand that in an ideal world we would have a way to measure quality of care, but patient satisfaction surveys are not a fair or reliable way to do so.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

yes I fill them out. If a certain nurse or technician goes out of their way being nice or helpful I want who ever is in charge to know. If someone is unprofessional (which rarely happens) I let them know that too.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I always fill them out because I work in healthcare and it is exactly as @hearkat said. They look at our scores and also our survey return rate.

JLeslie's avatar

Sometimes. The problem is I feel like I can’t give very specific details, because if I get pegged for the critical criticism I might get abused by the staff in the future.

I feel like all too often management does not handle feedback well whether it be hospitals or car dealerships. They don’t deal with their staff in a constructive way, they are just punitive and it sucks and is most of the time counterproductive.

Car dealerships are really outrageously ridiculous and it is just another symptom of how stupid they can be regarding selling in general. The sales person tells you to give them the highest score possible across the board. They tell you. They don’t want any constructive feedback they just want a perfect store. That is just dumb. What business owner only wants to hear positive feedback or nothing? I think that’s what happens. If I liked the salesperson but there might be a point or two where I could see improvement in my experience I just don’t fill it out. I have done the same regarding hospitals.

The right way to handle a suggestion or a criticism is to be open to how things can be improved and be glad to get negative feedback along with positive instead of the person simply never going back to your business.

gailcalled's avatar

I do and I am candid. I sign my name and offer to be contacted. I do not equate hospital surveys with those of car dealerships.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Survey filler-outer here. Plus, I worked for a hotel company with nine different chains that used an outside company to mail out and collect the data on the feedback.

Hospitals are of a different category than hotels. How many people have a choice in which hospital that they use? With that said, I assume that the administration is looking for feedback on what is working well and areas of opportunity.

Before I would fill out a hospital survey, there would be factors to consider:
1.) Who is the survey going to? If it is a third party, then I would do it.
2.) How often are the surveys sent? There comes a time when it is just too much.
3.) What types of questions are asked? The only two questions that are important are the return intent and willingness to recommend. If the answer is “no” in either case, then they should want to know why.

@JLeslie Thanks for sending this question my way.

Unbroken's avatar

I fill them out though not the bubble fill outs I write detailed responses. I want them to know what kind of care I got good or bad.

chyna's avatar

I work for a group of doctors in a hospital and these surveys are actually useful for the hospitals and doctors to change due to suggestions from patients. One example is that many patients complained that the hospital wasn’t as clean as it should be. The hospital hired 3 more housekeepers. An impartial source receives the surveys and tallys the scores and adds the comments but never discloses names.
@beentheresaidthat Good for you to recognize the healthcare people that have done a good job. They need to be recognized as well as those that do a bad job.

Seek's avatar

I filled out the survey I was sent after my surgery in 2012.

It was hard, because I was, obviously, out of my mind on opiates the entire time. They wanted names of people and how I felt about the experience. I was on propyphol and morphine. I don’t remember jack crap.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled Well, it’s mostly about customer service and customer satisfaction no matter what type of business. In fact, medical offices and hospitals should go through more customer service training in my opinion. It sometimes stuns me how much they lack customer service skills. They have the power, they have your medical records, test results, prescription pad, and medical knowledge.

I have written letters to hospitals on at least 4 occassions. It had my name, specific experience, etc. Only once did a person call me and really care about my feedback and by the grace of God relieved my bad anxiety and sadness regarding something that happened in her department. From that same hospital regarding some other problems they totally sucked in the way they handled my complaints. I also had written about staff I interacted with who were fantastic, and when they responded to me they did nothing to acknowledge where I was pleased with their service.

Another hospital it was regarding triage in the ER. They really royally sucked. They left me in severe pain waiting for over an hour and there was no one else in the waiting room when we arrived and when someone else did come in they were taken in to be treated within a few minutes. They were not an emergency, no way. When the nurse finally came to get me he said, “oh, I can tell you are really in serious pain.” The way it was said was that reception did not take me seriously. I think they believed I was a drug addict. Long story short their repsonse to me when I wrote a letter to the hospital liason was less than adequate and seemed to I ply they felt I was saying the nurse did not do his job well, when quite the opposite, I felt he took my injury very seriously.

I actually went to the ER to speak directly to a manager to say I was concerned my letter was misinterpreted, because it bothered me the nurse might have been called out as having had a complaint. She hid from me and never called me back as promised. A year later my girlfriend who works at that hospital when I told her this story said, “well now they have the nurse doing the triage instead of the receptionist.” Holy fuck! Was that even legal? It shouldn’t be. So, maybe my feedback did do something, but the hospital did nothing to satisfy me. I was just more frustrated that I had bothered to take the time to give them feedback. I only had the satisfaction of knowing their procedure changed because I had this conversation with my friend, and it was not satisfying actually, I only felt more abused, because it just feeds into my freak out regarding the incompetence that happens all too often. Letting the receptionist triage? Seriously?

I worked in a psych hospital and management tended to be very punitive instead of constructive and my relative who works in hospitals finds that to be the case also. I’m glad some hospitals are different.

My aunt was treated so badly in a hospital. She was in agony and they wheeled her down to get CT scans. She was gone for a very long time so my sister and I decided to go and find her. When we arrive a man, an employee, was pacing back and forth and then sat. As we got closer we saw my aunt behind the glass laying there. We waited, nothing was happening. Finally my sister asked about her and she had been done for a while. We realized all that time she was just waiting to be taken back to her room. So, my sister said something and the guy who was just pacing and sitting finally went and got my aunt to wheel her back to her room. They let her lie there flat on her back uncomfortable for almost an hour! That hospital sent us a survey, I really don’t believe they would do anything to change anything there. My sister works at that hospital.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna Does it bother you at all that a hospital was so bad at housekeeping they needed to hire three additional people and they didn’t notice or care until patients complained? Probably more than one complained to get their attention, which means the lack of cleanliness was happening a lot more than it should.

I’m glad they did something about it, but really I just can’t fathom it took patient feedback to figure out a hospital should be clean. Do you think nurses, doctors, and aides also didn’t notice?

chyna's avatar

@JLeslie Oh yes! I complained too! The bathroom was filthy, still is. They only vacuum our office once every 3 or 4 months. It’s a very old hospital, but to me, that’s no excuse.

jca's avatar

I do. I haven’t gotten them for ER visits (which, thankfully, I have few) and I haven’t gotten them for doctor visits, but I was in the hospital for almost a month six years ago. I had repeated interaction with all the staff so I did see the pattern of who is nice and cool and helpful and who was rude and bitchy. When I did the survey, I put names and details and I signed my name and put contact information. I was contacted and my discussion was pleasant. I don’t remember details of the discussion but I felt satisfied that my survey made it to the right person.

When you’re in the hospital, you’re at the mercy of the staff. You’re in a somewhat vulnerable position, even though you, as a patient, do have rights. You’re in a position where the staff can interpret the rules in a way they feel is necessary, and patients may not speak up about their issues. Luckily, I was in a good hospital and I had a good relationship with the majority of the staff, and I can advocate well for myself, so I had a fairly good experience.

GloPro's avatar

Our ER sends them out. Not a day goes by we aren’t reminded to “work for those 10s” and encouraged to remember patient satisfaction.
I smile extra big at the friendly old folks and ask them about their grand kids. It’s like I’m bartending again and working hard for those tips.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna Did they care that the staff complained? Or, only when patients do it.

hearkat's avatar

@JLeslie – In my experience, staff “complaints” don’t count. Only complaints from patients or “advice” from ridiculously overpaid consultants. It really burns me up when they pay someone who comes in and recommends the changes that we’ve been requesting for years. How about respecting your staff to know what they need and paying them what they deserve instead of some pretentious “expert” who never actually did the job they’re giving advice for? UGH!

flip86's avatar

This question sparked a discussion I wasn’t expecting. Glad I could help you guys vent.

JLeslie's avatar

@hearkat That’s what I would figure. It’s frustrating. It’s why I can’t get too excited when companies respond to complaints by customers/patients regarding things that should be done to begin with. Of course the staff notices, of course patient’s have complained directly to staff members, and the staff knows already many of the complaints that will show up on those questionnaires. The problem is either the ivory tower doesn’t listen to its staff or has discouraged negative criticism from staff to try and make improvements. It’s horrible for morale and a missed opportunity. Things like cleanliness in a hospital seems inexcusable and a no brainer. We still don’t know if staff at @chyna‘s hospital had tried to get the message across before the questionnaires.

The thing I did best as a manager was listen to my staff. They worked directly directly with the customer and they knew every time they missed a sale because we didn’t have a size or product. I ordered whatever they told they needed and my sales were always amazing. When I was a buyer it was easy, when I was a department manager and had to convince the central buyer to order what we needed it was more difficult sometimes, depending on the buyer. It’s not exactly apples to apples with what we were discussing, but similar.

As I think about it more, I guess if the decision makers do not work daily at the location the questionnaires are very important, because if the management sucks at a particular hospital lets say, the questionaire results probably go back to the corporate office and might finally get addressed. Same with any business, not just hospitals. I see it among franchise hotels. Some are so inconsistent and some very consistent. I stopped staying at Hampton Inn because I stayed in a few that we’re below par and now I don’t have confidence when I book that I will be happy. This might have changed now, possibly their hotels are better. Tripadvisor really has helped me decide where I stay. That is like a free questionaire service for almost every travel related business. I haven’t used the review sites for doctors, in fact it pisses me off they have overtaken the Internet when I try to find a doctor, but now I am wondering if maybe the reviews are worth looking at since those websites have been around for a while.

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