Quality Improvement: Consumer Satisfaction

What is a consumer satisfaction measure?

A consumer satisfaction measure is a type of QI tool designed to obtain feedback directly from clients/patients regarding their perception of the quality of services rendered by your facility, the effectiveness of those services, and the outcome. A consumer satisfaction measure is a tool that should be a vital part of your QI program. It can be used to assess the treatment outcome as it relates to the initial plan of treatment and actual services delivered.

Why should I be concerned about consumer satisfaction?

Consumer satisfaction is the determining factor for providing a productive, ongoing association between your clients/patients and your facility, ensuring that your client/patient will return to your facility for follow-up or additional services, and stimulating positive word-of-mouth referrals from former clients/patients. A consumer satisfaction measure is vital if the facility administrator is to evaluate the services being provided and to ensure the desired clinical outcomes to meet the client/patient's needs. From the feedback provided by consumers, data can be collected that will enable the administrator to make changes in programming for QI.

How can we measure consumer satisfaction?

Consumer satisfaction can be assessed by various measures. Typically, satisfaction surveys or questionnaires are designed to assess the client's perception in several areas and across various parameters, including facilities, timeliness, interactions with clinical and support staff, service delivery, and patient outcomes.

With the consumer satisfaction measure a basic component of a QI program, practitioners can obtain valuable feedback that can be incorporated into a performance evaluation system.

View a sample patient satisfaction survey from the Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

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