Patient Surveys: Essential to Improvement

Windom Area Health has contracted with a new patient survey service.  The new service is National Research Corporation Health (NRC).  Patients at Windom Area Health are randomly selected to answer a short survey that is conducted by phone, e-mail or by mail.  The surveys are 5 to 10 questions depending on the service you used.

We want to understand what matters to all of our patients.  One reason for this change was the availability of Real Time Responses.  We would like to know if you encountered any problems at your visit as soon as possible.  We also like to hear about good experiences!  Their computer reads the comments, identifies negative statements and notifies us by e-mail.

What do we do with this data? 

Each department is able to use data that we receive back from our patients to make improvements in our care.  If we see a problem with a certain process or department, we can make changes to improve.  The more surveys we receive back, the better the data is.  We also gather the comments made by patients and bring them back to our staff.  If you would like to recognize a staff member that you feel went above and beyond for you, please mention their name in a survey and they will be recognized in our employee Caught You Caring program.  There are also slips available in the main hallway to recognize staff.

How the data is collected

The phone contact is IVR or an Interactive Voice Recording.  These phone calls would come from an 888 number and may be identified by your cell service as Potential Spam. (The company is working on a solution to this happening).  The phone calls would come to you within 48 hours after your visit between the hours of 6-8 p.m.  This is a very short automated survey and you can complete it within 1 to 2 minutes.

If we have a current e-mail address, the survey may reach you this way.  It is the same short survey as the phone call.  The e-mail surveys need to be returned within 2 weeks to be counted.

All patients admitted as an inpatient to the hospital will receive a paper survey mailed to their home.  This is a longer survey required by Medicare and has the same questions as all other hospitals in the United States.  Medicare uses this as one data point to compare hospitals on their website “Hospital Compare.”  Patients have 42 days to mail this survey back to NRC. 

We truly value our patients’ opinions and the assistance of our patients in making improvements. 

By Lois Anderson, PI/QA/Risk Coordinator

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