Patient Satisfaction Surveys

Guidelines for Practice Success | Managing Patients | Treatment Recommendations

Many dental practices find it helpful to survey patients about their experience. Questions can range from how comfortable the reception area is to how long they waited to receive treatment and whether they felt their dental concerns were adequately addressed.
  • Customize your surveys so they’re appropriate to the patient’s experience. For instance, a new patient should be asked different questions than a patient who came in for a routine cleaning.
  • Be realistic about how many questions you include in the survey. Don’t ask questions that aren’t relevant or that don’t provide valuable input. Remember that patients who complete the survey are using their personal time to provide feedback.
  • Ask the most important questions first so you receive the most valuable information even if the patient doesn’t complete the entire survey.
  • Make sure the emails and surveys give patients a way to opt out of future communications.
  • Your practice management software may include an electronic instant survey for patients. Make sure you review the questions asked to ensure they’re relevant to your practice and your patients.
  • Several online survey vendors allow you to create a free, customized survey that can be shared with patients via email so they can complete it anonymously. While this option requires some investment of staff time, it allows for complete customization of questions and possible responses. Keep in mind that basic surveys are generally free and that lengthier questionnaires, or in-depth reporting of results, typically involve additional costs. Determine whether the vendor who fields your survey is a HIPAA business associate and, if so, make sure you have a business associate agreement in place.
  • Assign a staff member to compile and share survey results with you and the entire team. Use that information for a team discussion about ways to improve processes, communications, or other areas where change might be helpful.
  • Consider inviting satisfied patients to provide post treatment feedback on social media. This can be done at the end of your survey or mentioned by your front desk staff.
    • Positive online reviews are today’s version of word-of-mouth advertising and can be an effective way to attract new patients.

Additional Resources:

Sample Copy to Accompany Print Satisfaction Survey [PDF]
Sample Reminder Message to Increase Patient Response Rate [PDF]
Sample Patient Satisfaction Surveys [PDF]