Case Study: Patient Satisfaction Surveys

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Synergy executes performance measurement surveys for a leading company in the healthcare industry.

Business Challenge

Synergy Solutions was selected by a leading company specializing in performance measurement for the healthcare industry. One of the services offered by this company is patient satisfaction surveys, and Synergy’s objective was to conduct outbound telephonic surveys of recently discharged patients to gather feedback on their experience. Synergy was selected through a rigorous RFP and vendor selection process and has provided services for this client since 2007. Quality is paramount to the success of the program, as we are interacting with a diverse population including elderly people, ill people, injured people and people who have recently given birth.

In addition to being sensitive to the special needs of our target audience, the program also involves complex scripting with logic based branching tied to specific patient response. Surveys on average take about 15 minutes to complete up to 45 questions, however more difficult calls can take as long as 40 minutes. In addition to the complexity of the survey and the demographics of the potential respondents, a complex quota process was developed to ensure a statistically significant sampling of responses and that an accurate number of surveys were collected for each of the health care facilities and individual hospital departments that we represent. This quota system required complex program design, setting effective dialer management parameters and diligent program management to review results.

Synergy’s Solution

The program development was complex in that we had to create multiple, diverse survey script templates and for each template there were multiple versions depending on the type of experience that the patient had (Emergency Room, Outpatient, Home Health, Maternity, etc). We then further customized each script to the individual facility, while accessing portions of the facility type template. Each individual survey group (i.e. department within a facility) had their own stratified goals. Surveys were conducted across all US time zones, as well as some pacific island locations. Synergy currently completes surveys for 37 separate facilities totaling 110 unique dialing campaigns, with over 450 separate targets each with its own quota setting. Every quota is updated at least monthly, but some have greater frequency.
Synergy also developed a custom Quality Assurance program for this client. Not only was the quality of the presentation with the former patient critical, but also the survey required accurate data entry skills in addition to the ability to capture verbatim comments that could be forwarded to the client. All Customer Contract Representatives (CCRs) selected for this program had to have a history of above average quality and data entry skills demonstrated on previous programs. The CCRs selected for this program were issued a combination of five various standardized tests including spelling, data entry, customer service scenarios, senior sensitivity training and product knowledge education prior to making these survey calls.

Synergy’s Quality Department created a customized Quality Monitoring online critique form for this program, and all CCRs receive at least two completed evaluations per week with at least three completed calls per evaluation. Quality Monitoring takes place during live calls for immediate feedback. Synergy also created reporting that allows dedicated Verifiers to review all captured comments and edit all comments for spelling and grammar prior to submitting results to the client. Synergy created a special award and recognition program for the CCRs, in which quality scores were a key metric factored into the formula. Top performers receive incentives, but required excellent quality scores to qualify.

Synergy assigned a seasoned Account Manager with a specialization in Health Care programs to provide program oversight and analysis of the program to ensure success in the training and program launch. In addition to Synergy’s rigorous internal monitoring, Synergy makes remote monitoring available to the client in both assisted and unassisted (blind) formats. Additionally, Synergy provides the client with digital recorded calls for quality monitoring and calibration.

Through 10/31/07, we had completed a total of 70,766 surveys. We have completed surveys for 22 separate medical facilities in the US and Pacific Islands. Currently we have 53 dialing campaigns, each of which represents a unique facility and department and over 350 separate targets, each of which has its own quota setting to be managed. Quality was gauged by accuracy of data entry and management to defined quotas per survey group.