Healthcare analytics technology and clinical data registry software have made it easier to collect, organize, and analyze actionable, patient-sourced data.
In this post, we cover the three steps involved for successful patient surveys:
Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are typically collected through a patient survey. They can be collected in the clinic or in an office setting, but increasingly are delivered to patients to complete in their own home and on their own time.
When setting out to survey your patients, sometimes the tactical tasks that need to be done can feel overwhelming.
This list of considerations can be helpful as you plan your work:
Decide on an appropriate survey length. The length of your survey depends on how often your patients are surveyed. If your patients are going to be surveyed frequently (weekly, monthly), keep your survey as short as possible to achieve a higher completion rate. If your patients are going to be surveyed less frequently (quarterly, annually), they will tolerate longer surveys. Research tends to support approximately 30 questions as a maximum length to ensure surveys are completed.
Write for comprehension. Clinical information can be ill-defined and misinterpreted. Health information can also be especially difficult to process or overwhelming when the focus is one’s own personal health. Take steps to keep survey language as simple and straightforward as possible and confirm that patients understand what the question is asking or the information being shared. Doing this benefits everyone and lowers the risk of miscommunication.
Make your survey useful. When patients understand why questions are being asked of them, they are more likely to engage. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Decide on what you would like to measure. There are options here:
Decide on how the data should be collected. Drawing from a broad library of question types and answer variables will allow your survey to capture a wide variety of discrete and free form data elements. When choosing how to present each question, consider the type of device the patient will use to respond. Some answer types can be a challenge to answer on a mobile screen!
Build your survey. We work alongside our clients throughout the tactical design steps described above. We also can take it a step further. We build the survey for you and give you a link to test the experience your patients would have – the duration, reading level, measurement instruments, and usability of the questions and answers. This gives you the confidence the survey experience will be positive. We also have a self-service survey builder if you prefer to take these steps on your own.
Now that you have considered the tasks to build your survey, ensure you’re using the best technology. Successful patient surveys collect the right data from the right person at the right time. Your PRO technology should:
Once you collect and organize it, there is tremendous analytic value in patient-sourced data. Specifically, it:
Patient-reported data has unlimited purpose. But it’s only as useful as you make it. Here are a few examples of how registries are using PROs to advance their goals:
When you put it all together, patient survey should be Useful, Usable, Used, and Understood. As you take steps to design, build, and distribute patient surveys, keep these questions in mind:
The journey to design powerful surveys, analyze the data that they provide, and then to share the data to change healthcare delivery is worth taking. We are here to help.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our patient survey and patient-reported outcomes solutions for clinical registries, contact our team.
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