Remote health monitoring surveys give providers a way to check in with patients and track their progress between visits. These types of surveys are extremely useful for monitoring chronic conditions, and they allow healthcare teams to escalate cases or intervene before small issues turn into serious problems. Seventy-nine percent of patients say they are interested in health monitoring surveys.
Healthcare providers can give patients a nudge to complete surveys by presenting them as a necessary part of their chronic care plan. During office visits, patients should be given an explanation of the survey process. Letting patients know, for example, that they will be sent a weekly survey invitation and that staff will closely track their responses and any progress or changes is a good way to reinforce the connection between monitoring surveys and health management support.
Healthcare teams can also emphasize the connection between survey participation and support following hospitalizations. Providers can use post-discharge surveys to follow up with patients at key points in the 30 days after discharge. Communicating to patients how their healthcare team can utilize information they submit through surveys to detect issues and intervene to prevent readmissions is an effective way to drive survey participation. Forty percent of patients with chronic conditions say they would be more willing to take surveys if doing so would lessen their chances of being admitted or readmitted to the hospital. Healthcare teams that sell patients on this potential benefit of post-discharge surveys may be able to drive more participation.
3. Follow through on follow-up.
Actions speak louder than words. Rather than just telling patients about the benefits or how surveys can help them, healthcare teams can go a step further and show patients with follow-up communication. Patients who spend time completing a survey want to hear from their healthcare team. Thirty-four percent of patients say they would be more likely to take a survey if they were contacted immediately afterward by a healthcare provider. In addition, patients say providers who follow up over the phone (37 percent) or via a text message or online chat (32 percent) would entice them to take surveys. While immediate follow-up is not necessary or appropriate in every situation, healthcare teams can make sure patients understand that they will be contacted promptly if follow-up is warranted.
By acting on survey data, healthcare providers can show patients they are engaged and committed to improving patients’ health. For instance, when patients complete a medication adherence survey and confess they are not taking their medication, providers can learn why—and find solutions to previously unknown medication barriers. Outreach following a medication adherence survey demonstrates providers’ commitment to keeping patients on track, and it can make patients even more responsive to future surveys.
Healthcare providers and patients agree that surveys can be valuable healthcare tools. But surveys are only useful if patients take them. It’s frustrating when patients don’t respond to survey invitations, and it hinders providers’ ability to deliver the between visit support patients say they want.
Rather than accepting that survey response for what they are, healthcare teams can take action to drive the changes they wish to see. They can drive more patient participation by taking patients’ requests to heart and ensuring that surveys are convenient, have clear health benefits, and are followed with additional communication.
Allison Hart is an advocate for utilizing technology-enabled communications to engage and activate patients beyond the clinical setting. Hart currently serves as vice president of marketing at West, where she leads thought leadership efforts for West’s TeleVox Solutions.