COVID-19 and Patient Anxiety: Top 5 Concerns

It’s not uncommon for patients visiting the doctor to experience anxiety related to their symptoms, diagnosis, or treatment. The spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has introduced a new type of anxiety for many patients: the fear of exposure to the virus. Many Americans are even avoiding medical care due to fear of contracting the virus in a healthcare setting.

Using SurveyVitals’ comment sentiment analysis and keyword search, we reviewed patient comments specific to COVID-19 procedures in office-based practices. We identified the top five patient concerns related to fear of clinical contamination. Taking steps to address these concerns may increase your patients’ comfort level with your care.

Top 5 Patient Concerns

#1: Visitor Screening

Screening patients and visitors prior to entry may look different from one practice to the next. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published recommendations for screening patients for COVID-19 symptoms and risk potential.

This screening at the building entrance gives peace of mind for patients who worry they will come in contact with someone infected with COVID-19. It is important to have a triaging process in place so patients can feel at ease in your facility.

#2: Shared Items

Patients are particularly apprehensive about handling shared items such as pens, clipboards, or tablets. Whenever possible, offer the option for patients to fill out paperwork online prior to their visit.

For patients who do need to fill out forms onsite, disinfect pens and clipboards after each use. Consider having a clearly-labeled ‘clean’ set of pens and clipboards for patients to use.

In the waiting room, remove magazines and toys. If wifi is available, post the login information so patients can use their phones while they wait.

#3: Waiting Room Distancing

Many patients express discomfort with their proximity to other people in the waiting room. The CDC guidelines for clinic COVID-19 preparedness specify that waiting rooms should be set up to allow for six feet of distance between patients. Use signs to designate seating as off-limits, or remove chairs from the waiting room to provide adequate social distancing.

For check-in and check-out, place markers on the floor for patients to stand on to maintain six feet of distance.

If social distancing is not feasible in your waiting room, consider having patients wait in their cars or in a designated outdoor waiting area. If possible, you may also set up partitions inside.

#4: Face Masks

The CDC has published recommendations regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) for clinicians and symptomatic patients. However, required use of masks by all staff (both clinical and office) as well as patients and visitors is important in reducing patient anxiety about COVID-19 exposure.

If masks are required at your facility, make the policy known when scheduling the appointment and again with any reminders sent to the patient.

Sometimes patients can have difficulty with understanding their provider or another staff member due to mask use. Before removing your mask, view this article on communicating effectively while following COVID-19 prevention procedures.

#5: Offering Supplies

It’s crucial to offer hand sanitizer and tissues, and to ensure patients can easily access trash cans and soap at sinks. Patients without access to these supplies are likely to experience anxiety about contamination, especially if they have had to handle shared items such as pens, or if they’ve had to touch door handles or equipment.

SurveyVitals Study of Patient Views on COVID-19

Since March 2020, SurveyVitals has surveyed over 100,000 patients to capture public sentiment regarding COVID-19. View the ongoing study here and sign up for a demo today to learn how you can take part while collecting valuable feedback about the patient experience in your organization.

July 23rd, 2020 Categories: Best Practices, COVID-19, featured, Outpatient Practice

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New Features: Telehealth Survey and Updated Survey Interface

The SurveyVitals solution is continuously evolving to fit our users’ unique needs–healthcare organizations of all sizes and specialties. Improvements and new developments to the online reporting patient experience platform come as a result of direct input and asks from clients.

Our newly released telehealth survey solution makes it easy for practices providing both in-person visits and audio/visual offerings to understand and measure what might feel like a new experience. Additionally, the patient survey interface has been optimized to improve user experience. To learn more about these releases, read below or contact your SurveyVitals account manager.

Interested in learning more about SurveyVitals? Request more information here.

Telehealth Survey

Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, more healthcare organizations are offering virtual visits than ever before to reduce the risk of exposure to patients and staff. To help our clients adapt, we developed the Telehealth Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (TPSQ).

The telehealth survey features 12 questions about the patient experience with virtual visits within your healthcare organization. These questions cover scheduling the visit, logging on, provider communication and interactions, and willingness to recommend.

The telehealth survey easily adapts to your workflow. Organizations offering both in-person and telehealth visits can upload a single patient list for both visit types, so no additional work is needed after survey setup is complete.

Updated Survey Interface

Our new digital survey interface was designed to improve the user experience for patients while taking the survey. The update ensures a consistent experience and furthers patient accessibility. Over 90% of SurveyVitals digital surveys are completed on mobile devices.

Telehealth Survey New Interface

If you are interested in enabling the telehealth survey for your organization or have questions about the updated survey interface, reach out to your SurveyVitals Account Manager or contact us using the blue chat icon at the bottom of the screen.

June 16th, 2020 Categories: COVID-19, featured, Outpatient Practice, Patient Experience

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SurveyVitals Releases National COVID-19 ‘Patient Views’ Report

25% increase in those who self-report to be quarantining due to the virus

BOISE, ID – SurveyVitals, Inc., the nation’s leading digital patient experience survey provider, today released its findings of an ongoing nationwide study about how the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting Americans’ lives. SurveyVitals collected and analyzed over 16,000 initial responses from patients across 1,800 healthcare practice locations in the U.S. to learn more about trending concerns related to COVID-19.

“We deployed this question set in partnership with our healthcare clients on the front lines to help educate the public about CDC recommendations while also capturing important feedback to make national benchmark data available,” said Blake Vosburgh, President of SurveyVitals. “Understanding public sentiment on COVID-19 is critical to help identify potential gaps in education and inform future outreach as we face this unprecedented global health crisis.”

A six-question addendum set about the coronavirus was provided to patients at the conclusion of a regularly administered SurveyVitals patient experience survey. Patient responses were captured using a three-pronged contact methodology: text message, email and interactive voice response call. Data was processed using SurveyVitals’ proprietary reporting platform with text comments undergoing sentiment and topical analysis.

Key Takeaways from SurveyVitals’ COVID-19 ‘Patient Views’ Report
  • As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. rises, the number of people who report quarantining is increasing. Over the course of the study, there has been a 25% increase in the number of people indicating they are quarantining due to the virus.
  • The Silent Generation, those most at risk according to the CDC for severe complications due to COVID-19, report the highest levels of concern (60% strongly agree that the coronavirus is concerning), while Generation Z is seemingly the least concerned (40% strongly agree).
  • In open-text comments about the impact of the coronavirus, 19% of respondents mention or express concern about economic impact, and 12% address the difficulties of social isolation and the effects it could have on mental health.
  • There are noticeable differences between genders in response to the coronavirus. Women are more likely to share their thoughts (6%^), are more concerned about the virus (5%^), perceive a larger impact to their daily lives (2%^), and are quarantining more (13%^) than men.

The full aggregated report can be accessed here, with featured visualizations updating in real-time. SurveyVitals will amend key report findings as additional responses are collected.

About SurveyVitals

For over 15 years, SurveyVitals’ mission has been to partner with healthcare organizations and providers to understand and improve the patient experience using innovative technology. In-depth, intuitive reporting tools provide actionable insights in real-time to support data-driven decision making. SurveyVitals offers comprehensive solutions, including a unique blend of digital patient surveys, CMS-approved CAHPS administration, and online reputation tools to help organizations of all sizes and specialties meet their goals. Join the over 16,000 clinicians who are already experiencing the SurveyVitals difference. To learn more visit www.SurveyVitals.com.

Contact

To learn more about SurveyVitals or request a demo, please click here or contact Devon Smith, Director of Strategic Programs (devon@surveyvitals.com).

For media inquiries, please contact Kyra Maples, Chief Operating Officer. (kyra@surveyvitals.com)

April 8th, 2020 Categories: COVID-19, featured, Press Release

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New Feature: SPSQ Low Score Comment Prompts

Low Score Comment Prompts

Better understand patient concerns with our low-score survey logic, now included on our Standard Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (SPSQ). When patients select a score of a ‘1’ or ‘2’ on the five-point Likert scale for any standard survey question, they will be prompted to leave a comment describing their experience in that area.

The long-term use of this feature on our Anesthesia Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (APSQ2) has been effective in helping providers to better understand trends and improvement opportunities in specific areas. These prompts encourage patients to include details about a specific part of their experience, providing deeper insights than often gained with generalized comment prompts at the end of a survey. Please note, there will be no change to the existing SPSQ comment questions with the addition of the low score prompts.

To gain even more insight from your patient feedback, use our sentiment analysis tool to review patient low score comments. This will help you to identify the most critical feedback quickly.

Have questions about this new feature or the SPSQ survey? Chat with us using the blue chat icon below, or reach out to your client account manager. Interested in learning more about SurveyVitals? Request a demo of the solution here.

December 16th, 2019 Categories: featured, Outpatient Practice, Patient Experience, Product Features

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Public Review Just Got Better! Boost Your Google Business Reviews with this New Feature

Nearly 90 percent of patients look to online reviews when choosing a physician, so increasing a positive presence online is more important than ever.

SurveyVitals’ Public Review feature helped healthcare providers and organizations proactively build their online reputation and improve their search rank in 2019. The feature drives verified patients to leave public reviews about their experiences on a page hosted by SurveyVitals and indexed by Google, allowing prospective patients to find you more easily online.

Since its launch this year, over 200,000 verified patients have posted online ratings using Public Review, and 98% of those reviews scored 4 out of 5 stars or higher. Using our composite scoring algorithm ensures patients’ public star ratings are more reflective of their visit, rather than a single aspect of their experience.

Public Review is an important tool that allows healthcare organizations and providers to build a brand on the web. However, we also want to help get you more positive reviews where they matter the most. Google accounts for 57.5% of all online reviews worldwide, far superseding other online review platforms. If you have only a handful of Google reviews, a one- or two-star rating can drag your overall rating down.

Public Review + Google

We’ve enhanced our Public Review feature to give you a two-pronged approach to building your online reputation. The newest expansion of the tool allows you to better incorporate your Google Business pages into your SEO strategy. Use Public Review to boost your volume of reviews by driving a percentage of your verified patients to your Google Business review pages.

Public Review plus Google

How it works

Setup is quick and easy. Add your Google Business review link to your Public Review settings within your SurveyVitals portal, and specify a percentage of your patients to route directly to this page upon completion of a survey. You can link to the Google Business reviews page for the whole organization or separate pages for each of your practice locations.

That’s it! To schedule a demo or learn more, chat with us using the blue chat icon below.

December 13th, 2019 Categories: featured, Patient Experience, Product Features, Reputation Management

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10 Million Surveys!

10 million patient experience surveys completed

Together with our clients, we reached 10 million surveys in the SurveyVitals comparative benchmark. Thank you for helping us achieve this incredible milestone!

SurveyVitals 10 million surveys completed

With over 16,000 clinicians across 85 specialties utilizing SurveyVitals at over 3,500 locations, we are excited to watch this benchmark continue to grow. Your partnership and each interaction with your patients strengthens the solution and continues to fuel our mission to improve care and the experiences of patients across the country every day.

Ten million surveys comes on the heels of several new feature releases in 2019. Check them out here:

Report Builder

Upgrades to our custom reporting tool increased its speed and ability to analyze higher volumes of data, and introduced more comparison options, diverse filtering, and deeper comment analysis.

Sentiment Analysis

Using a machine learning algorithm, the new sentiment analysis feature measures the overall tone of text comments to help identify the most positive and negative feedback. The addition of sentiment analysis made it easier and faster for users to gain deeper insights from hundreds and even thousands of comments.

Improvement Center

We launched the Improvement Center in our client portal to aid providers in targeting improvement in the areas where it is needed most. The Improvement Center houses over 120 short videos and articles organized by question group.

Provider Performance by Location

Enhancements to the Location & Provider Details tool optimized how organization and division-level users capture provider performance. The Provider Scorecard breaks down each provider’s performance across multiple locations, making comparison of individual performance at one location versus another fast and easy.

We look forward to continuing to enhance and grow our solution as we work toward the next 10 million surveys!

November 25th, 2019 Categories: featured, Patient Experience

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Provider Spotlight: Tina Eide, MD, Matrix Anesthesia

Provider Spotlight: Tina Eide

Tina Eide, a board certified anesthesiologist from Matrix Anesthesia, was one of the winners of our recent Patient Experience Week giveaway. We asked Tina about the best practices she follows to provide exceptional patient care, and we’re excited to share her responses.

Tina studied medicine at the University of Washington and trained at Virginia Mason Medical Center. Her primary areas of work interest include regional anesthesia, neuroanesthesia, lifestyle/behavior, and anti-aging medicine.

What best practices do you and the staff you work with follow that you attribute to your positive scores?

Tina Eide: [The] Overtake Hospital pre-operative setting includes private rooms for each patient, so interviews can be conducted with a closed door, and a quiet environment. This is instrumental in developing patient trust, explaining anesthetic choices, and creating a safe space for patients to voice anxieties or fears. Also, the pre-op nurses are excellent and gather information ahead of the anesthesiologist meeting the patient, so we don’t have to be entirely reiterative.

I always try to ask several specific questions about a patient. By knowing a few personal details, I can often begin talking about a familiar topic that helps put the patient at ease. I’ve even gotten three patients to sing for me recently!

Finally, I always offer my first name after I’ve introduced myself as Doctor Eide. I give my patient the choice of which to call me, and most prefer calling me Dr. Tina or just Tina. I am able to communicate through this that I am a professional but I am also a human.

What is one example of how you improved your relationship with your patients and/or the care you provide?

Tina Eide: When I first began, I was hesitant to explain all the risks that are inherent to anesthesia with patients. I felt this information might burden them or raise their anxiety prior to surgery. As I grew as a doctor and learned from my patients, I realized that patients are entitled to know the specifics of the care they will receive while under anesthesia. Some patients will decline a total explanation, and this is just fine. Other patients want to know each event that will occur and the possible up and downsides.

I learned that if I was upfront and explicit about the risk discussion, patients were extremely appreciative and their trust in me grew as well.

How do you best use your SurveyVitals data for your own personal improvement?

Tina Eide: I look for the specific comments that patients make about their experiences. Often we only hear general feedback like “great job” but when people relay a certain moment that touched them, or a particular action I did that helped them feel at ease, I am able to repeat that going forward.

I also accept any critical feedback with an open mind and heart. As a doctor, I hold myself to an exceptionally high standard to ‘do no harm’ which can sometimes translate in my mind as ‘make no mistakes.’ Clearly, as a human being, I have to accept that I will make a mistake now and again. If I can hear the critical feedback well enough to learn from it, however, I see it as a growth opportunity rather than something negative.

September 16th, 2019 Categories: Anesthesia, Best Practices, Client Spotlight, featured, Patient Experience

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Feature Highlight: Challenge Mode

Feature Highlight: Challenge Mode

Have you set up a challenge yet? Using Challenge Mode, you can create a competition between your providers to encourage improvement. Once the competition is live, you can monitor the results in real-time from your dashboard.

During Challenge Mode setup, choose questions or question areas you want to focus on. At the end of the challenge, the clinician with the highest scores in these categories is deemed the winner.

Challenge Mode Leaderboard

Note that you must be an administrative user with ‘Organization’ permissions to launch a challenge. From the ‘Challenge’ tab in your portal, you can view current challenges, leaderboards, and historical data.

Why create a challenge?

Challenges can create a bit of friendly competition among clinicians. Target questions or question areas where you would like to see improvement in patient experience scores. This can be a fun way to start some friendly competition and encourage provider engagement. Offer prizes or other incentives to encourage providers to achieve the highest possible scores.

Setting up a challenge

Ready to get started? Here’s how to set up a challenge:

Navigate to the Challenge page within your portal.

Challenge Mode

On the Challenge page, click “+Create” and follow the prompts as they appear in the pop-up menu.

Challenge Mode

Participants will receive an email notifying them of the challenge. Once enough surveys have been collected, results will automatically update in the leaderboard. Clinicians can check the rankings from their portal login.

More resources

For more information about Challenge Mode, check out the resources in the Help section, or contact your dedicated support team members.

September 9th, 2019 Categories: featured, Patient Experience, Product Features

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Surveys You Might Not Know SurveyVitals Offers

4 survey types you may not know SurveyVitals offers

SurveyVitals’ digital patient experience surveys help you gain a deeper understanding of your performance with immediate patient feedback. Did you know our solution includes many more surveys at no additional cost to help drive improvement from every angle of your practice?

1. Point of Care

Our Point of Care tool allows you to address patient concerns on the spot before the leave your facility. The survey is sent to patients on their own devices while they’re still onsite, giving you the opportunity to resolve concerns in real-time.

2. Outcomes Surveys
Global Surgical Outcomes Survey (GSOS)

The GSOS survey is sent to surgical patients post-visit to collect feedback about the recovery experience. GSOS works in sync with the Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) model and ERAS guidelines to identify gaps in care and spot opportunities to improve outcomes.

Emergency Medicine Outcomes Survey (EMOS)

The EMOS survey is sent to patients following an Emergency Department visit. It collects patient feedback related to understanding the recovery plan and accessibility to follow-up care.

3. 360° Surveys

As a part of our 360° solution, we offer a variety of internal and stakeholder surveys to help you better understand the perceptions of employees, peers, surgeons, physicians, and third party groups who work with your organization.

Employee Satisfaction

The Employee Satisfaction survey collects feedback to help increase teamwork, reduce turnover, and keep your teams motivated. The survey assesses individual employee perceptions about the organization, professional interactions, performance, job duties, and more.

Peer-to-Peer

The Peer-to-Peer survey aims to increase accountability and awareness of workplace conflict. Employees rate their peers in a number of areas including attitude, communication, competency, responsibility, teamwork, and timeliness.

Physician Satisfaction

Intended to prevent physician burnout, the Physician Satisfaction survey gathers insights from physicians about their quality of life in the workplace. Drive positive change with candid feedback from your physicians in a number of areas.

Referring Physician

Maximize your referral opportunities with the Referring Physician survey. Receive feedback from referring physicians on reports, recommendations, and interpretations they receive.

Anesthesiologist Surgeon Satisfaction

The Anesthesiologist Surgeon Satisfaction Questionnaire gathers important input from surgeons who work alongside anesthesia providers. This survey gives anesthesia providers valuable insights to strengthen relationships and increase safety and efficiency.

Third Party Group Evaluation

Enhance your third party relationships with feedback from your hospital and facility partners about your care, safety, responsiveness, clinical competency, cost efficiency, support, and more.

4. CAHPS

SurveyVitals is certified by CMS to administer nine different CAHPS surveys. The transition to value-based care has made CAHPS surveys mandatory for many facilities. The CAHPS surveys we offer are:

Note: There may be an additional cost to administer CAHPS surveys.

Questions?

Have questions about the SurveyVitals solution or any of the surveys we offer? Reach out to us today at support@surveyvitals.com or contact us using the blue chat icon below.

August 28th, 2019 Categories: Anesthesia, CAHPS Surveys, Emergency Medicine, featured, Outpatient Practice, Patient Experience

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5 Benefits of Higher Patient Experience Scores

patient experience benefits

Today, there’s a bigger emphasis on the patient experience than ever–and for good reason. Here are five reasons you should want to achieve higher patient experience scores.

1. A better patient experience often leads to better outcomes

Numerous studies have shown a correlation between positive patient experience and better health outcomes. The patient experience is measured by factors that reflect trust and understanding between patient and provider, such as communication, confidence, and sensitivity. More satisfied patients tend to comply with treatment and follow recommendations better than dissatisfied patients do (1, 2), leading to better outcomes and continuity of care.

2. Happier patients make for happier providers

Physician burnout affects almost half of U.S. physicians. Research shows physicians with more satisfied patients tend to be happier and experience less burnout. These providers are more likely to form a human connection to their patients, which contributes to the patient experience but also gives them a better sense of well-being and fulfillment.

3. Higher patient experience scores mean lower malpractice risk

A JAMA study found that physicians who score in the bottom one-third on patient satisfaction surveys have malpractice lawsuit rates 110% higher than physicians with top patient satisfaction ratings. Many of the concerns that lead to malpractice suits can be alleviated by understanding your patients’ perceptions of care and working to improve your scores in the most critical areas. Service recovery tools like ‘Contact Me’ also allow for timely follow up to mitigate any potential issues before they arise.

4. Patient experience is directly related to financial success

There are two ways in which patient experience impacts your organization’s financial success.

First, there is a direct link between higher patient experience scores and a healthcare organization’s bottom line. U.S. hospitals with top patient satisfaction scores are reported to have net margins 50 percent higher than those with average to poor scores.

Second, patient experience can affect federal reimbursement. From CAHPS surveys to MIPS measures, the patient experience is a determining factor in federal incentives and penalties. Did you know SurveyVitals can administer nine CAHPS surveys and help you meet certain MIPS measures?

5. A better patient experience gives you a competitive advantage

Eighty-eight percent of patients look online before choosing a physician. To attract new patients, it’s important to showcase your quality of care. One way to do this is by sharing your patient experience scores.

SurveyVitals makes it easy to share your scores in a variety of ways; to learn more, see this blog post.

Additionally, patient experience data can be used as an effective tool by physician services groups and organizations seeking contracts with hospital partners and other facilities.

Are you ready to start improving your patient experience scores? Talk to us today using the blue chat icon below!

August 20th, 2019 Categories: featured, Patient Experience

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