16th June 2020
In this blog, our Chief Customer Officer, Richard Blyth, updates on the results from our patient satisfaction survey.
With an unprecedented response to our annual patient survey, we’re delighted to see our satisfaction ratings increasing across our services. This year we received 8,375 responses – an 18 per cent response rate, which is almost double the rate received in 2018.
The survey ran from 16 March to 10 April. Despite many patients feeling anxious about Covid-19 during this time, at least 95 per cent of patients were extremely satisfied or satisfied with our customer service, delivery service and clinical services. 93 per cent of patients also said they would be extremely likely or likely to recommend Healthcare at Home to others if they needed similar care or treatment.
When combined into a ‘net promoter’ score (an international measure for how many more people would pass on a positive view of a company versus a negative view), we were excited and proud to see that the responses put us in the same league as Amazon and other hugely trusted brands of the world.
Positive changes in response to feedback
While the majority of areas covered in the survey saw an increase in satisfaction, we’re always keen to hear from patients about where we can improve our services even further. In fact, that’s one of our primary objectives for doing the survey.
This year’s survey was completed while we were rising to the initial challenge of the coronavirus pandemic, and inevitably changing some of the ways we work rather quickly. For example, we needed to introduce more ways for people to contact us for support, without the need for a face-to-face or in home visit. The patient survey responses reassured us that the changes we were making chimed with what patients wanted from us and that moving forward at speed with new digital service channels was the right approach.
The survey highlighted that while people were generally very happy with our services, there was slightly less satisfaction with the ease of contacting our customer service team and how we handled complaints and concerns. Also, while 97 per cent of respondents were extremely satisfied or satisfied with the professionalism and politeness of our clinical staff, the feedback was less positive on the timeliness of our arrival or telephone contact.
Such feedback is crucial to us as a business. Over the last few weeks and months we’ve rolled out a number of new ways to improve the ways we stay in contact and service our patients.
First, we launched iChat, an easy-to-use online system manned by our experienced staff that allows patients to contact us with any queries and helps our teams respond promptly to any patient concerns. We’re also currently trialling an Online Patient Consultation Room to replace home visits in some cases, improving our links with patients during these difficult times.
By the end of May, our nurses had completed more than 200 video calls through the online room after only being live with this test for a few weeks. Patients were using this service for one-to-one calls with a Healthcare at Home clinician and three way calls, which also included their referring consultant, and for cancer wellbeing calls and assessments. Referring consultants using the platform have fed back very positively and the pilot has been extended to mid-June with the intention to roll this out as business as usual.
Additionally, we have set up a designated line for queries and concerns which also helped patients get in touch with our teams faster. All these developments have been put in place in a matter of weeks, where they might usually take months.
Our relationship with patients is key to providing the best care
Our patient survey results help us to understand where we need to work harder, and as a trusted brand we are pleased that so many of our patients have taken the time to give us their honest, constructive feedback.
Of course, we don’t just hear from our patients annually; we also seek ongoing feedback and speak on a frequent basis to patients who have been with us for a number of years, as well as those discharged from our care. We really do value their feedback to drive the quality of our services forward.
Internally, we share the results of the survey among all our teams and with the NHS, for complete transparency. Our teams use the scores and comments to help them innovate and improve their services, and to identify opportunities to do more for people in their homes.
Looking to the future
While the results of this year’s survey are extremely positive, we want to now focus on stepping up our service levels, moving even more patients from being ‘satisfied’ to being ‘extremely satisfied’.
We are keen to keep engaging with our patients, and we have been actively recruiting a volunteer panel of patients to review our communication materials and test our future technology platforms before they go live. We also ask patients and carers to review our information leaflets and help ensure our patient resources are as clear, useful and informative as possible.
I’d like to thank our patients who completed the survey and everyone who gives us their honest feedback throughout the year – learning through our patients’ experiences helps us develop the best possible services for all the patients in our care.
Richard Blyth, Chief Customer Officer, Healthcare at Home