Post-Call Survey: Gathering Timely Patient Feedback

There's nothing more frustrating than to discover an opportunity, only to recognize that too much time has already passed. For many PAC members, that's been the case with patient satisfaction survey results that are often released months after collecting the data from patients. The lack of timeliness combined with low response rates have plagued stakeholders. An alternative that shows promise is on the horizon. To address this issue of timely feedback related to access, post-call surveys are now deployed by many PAC organizations in their ambulatory contact center.

What is a post-call survey? After the caller and the agent have completed the call, the caller is requested to score the conversation. The caller may be automatically prompted to provide feedback - or the collection mechanism may be a follow-on text or email. The results are compiled and reported back to management, allowing for near-immediate feedback at the agent or organization level (and often, an intermediate area such as the specialty or department, as applicable).

While the framework is fairly consistent among organizations, the question(s) that are being asked vary. The questions typically fall into two main categories:

  1. The performance of the contact center by rating the agent, i.e., customer service; and
  2. The perception of the caller as it relates to appointment availability, i.e., access.

Rick Evans, Senior Vice President, Patient Services & Chief Experience Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, posted a query on the PAC listserv to request feedback about the questions. The post generated a multitude of responses:

UNC Health
Was the reason for your call today resolved? (Yes/No/Partially)
How would you rate your customer service experience? (scale 1-5)

How satisfied are you with your overall experience today? (scale 1-5)
(The caller is then asked if they will stay on to answer additional questions. The option of leaving a voicemail for additional feedback is offered.)

Loma Linda University Health
How likely is it that you would recommend LLUH? (scale 1-5)
How polite and courteous would you rate your representative (scale 1-5)
Were we able to meet all your needs on this call? (Yes/No)

VCU Health
Was the person you spoke to friendly and courteous?(scale 1-5)
Were you able to speak to a representative in a reasonable timeframe?(scale 1-5)
Were you able to schedule your appointment in a reasonable timeframe? (scale 1-5)
(The option of leaving a voicemail for additional feedback is offered.)

The response rate for post-call surveys varies from 5% to nearly 20%, as reported by PAC members. Even with a low response rate, the timely feedback regarding customer service and/or the access experience provides valuable insight. Some PAC members - Northwestern, for example - are even adding the results of the survey on their executive dashboard to showcase the patient experience rating, replacing the traditional survey results gathered manually after the encounter.

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