The Silver Avenue Family Health Center (SAFHC) didn’t believe their CG-CAHPS results were accurately representative of their actual performance.
The Silver Avenue Family Health Center (SAFHC) didn’t believe their CG-CAHPS results were accurately representative of their actual performance, and they struggled to collect adequate data to understand the patient experience. They faced a common challenge seen across healthcare, where response rates to CG-CAHPS surveys are as low as 34% and on the decline.
After thorough analysis, it was found that the issue could be tied to a number of factors:
- Inefficient method of survey delivery. Physically handing surveys to patients or mailing them after visits results in poor response rates; such methods of delivery are also more likely to upset or dissatisfy patients, biasing results.
- High cost of mailing out surveys. Mailout surveys cost approximately 10 USD per completed survey, so it is difficult to administer CG-CAHPS surveys in a cost-effective way. The CAHPS program also recommends 5 to 6 follow-up phone calls per survey to encourage survey completion, which further increases administrative costs.
- Difficult wording. The paper-based surveys are not engaging for patients, with confusing wording that decreases accessibility. The surveys are long and difficult for patients to properly read, understand, and fill out.
- Delayed response times. Even when they are completed, mail-out surveys have long turnaround times. Feedback can be delayed as much as 2–3 months. This slows a clinic’s responsiveness to patient needs, increasing patient frustration.
Lack of patient experience data adds to increasing administrative costs and difficulty representing diverse populations. As a result, SAFHC could not gather sufficient patient satisfaction feedback to receive accreditation or improve care.
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