Auburn University Medical Clinic sits on the school’s sprawling campus, deep in the rolling hills of East Alabama. In addition to serving Auburn’s 24,000-plus students, the clinic also provides healthcare services for the university’s administration, faculty, staff and even residents of the local community. Seeing as many as 39,000 patients a year, AUMC strives to be patient focused and deliver an excellent, personalized experience.
To maintain the high level of patient satisfaction, AUMC must stay in tune with patient needs. For years, the clinic collected feedback via comment cards. While the response rate was close to 45 percent, marketing coordinator Maegan Hamner said there was a downside with the feedback process.
After retrieving comment cards from patients, staff would spend about 10-12 hours per month processing comment cards. Additionally, paper comment cards did not appeal to the college-age demographic that frequented the clinic.
In an effort to boost efficiency, AUMC adopted Check Point, a tablet survey offered to patients at the end of their visit. The tablet platform makes it easy for patients to answer a few questions, and the feedback is immediate. Healthcare providers, who originally served comment cards to patients at the end of the visit, are freed from the paperwork. Other staff members are no longer required to sort through and catalog the responses.
Using Check Point liberates staff from the feedback process almost entirely, allowing them to focus on their number one job — patient health. All surveys taken using Check Point are collected with the tablet and automatically organized online. According to Hamner, Check Point decreased the 10-12 hours per month that staff spent processing paper comment cards down to 1-2 hours analyzing results.
“It definitely helps to see [the feedback] in real time instead of having to wait for someone to sort through all of it,” said Hamner.
Improved Patient Experience
Going from comment cards to tablet surveys cut the amount of time it takes for patients to fill out a survey in half. The format is more appealing to college students, who are used to using tablets. Since transitioning to Check Point, Hamner said the student response has been overwhelmingly positive with comments such as “the new surveys are great, much better than the paper ones.”
Improved Staff Efficiency
Staff and healthcare providers have more time to focus on their duties and less time worrying about sorting and quantifying survey results. At the end of each visit, healthcare providers can have more personable conversations with patients instead of ending a patient visit with a request for feedback.
Knowledge is Power
The feedback collected with Check Point is instant and can be reviewed online. Negative responses are identified right away and can be addressed with the patient in a timely manner. Check Point analytics also allow the clinic to spot and resolve systemic issues with staff or operations.
Hamner says there have been several instances where the clinic spotted a trend with negative feedback and used that information to improve the patient experience. One example she gave was dissatisfaction with the waiting period. The clinic responded to that feedback by changing patient flow, waiting to bring patients to an exam room until the provider was ready to see them and by adding TVs and windows to the waiting room. Those small changes ended up being just what the patient ordered and the clinic was able to reduce the amount of negative feedback.
- Improved Patient Experience — patients can take surveys with the easy-to-use tablets during check out.
- Increased Staff Productivity — staff spend less time sorting through comment cards and focus more time on improving the patient experience.
- Cost and Time Saving – Check Point eliminates manually inputting information from paper comment cards and automatically organizes results online to review. In addition to saving time, using Check Point costs less than the amount of compensation it took to pay a staff member to sort through survey results.
Healthcare is a service business. Auburn University Medical Clinic understands that providing a great patient experience is a key part of that service. Using Check Point tablet surveys to immediately and easily collect patient feedback allows the clinic to keep a close eye on its patient experience, address issues quickly, and ensure that every patient leaves the clinic feeling well taken care of.