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Health care online surveys help gather data to improve health care and cut costs

Posted on 3/11/2011 by Elizabeth in category: survey software articles
According to health care insurer Aetna, health care costs are estimated to rise by 68% from 2009 to 2018. Small businesses are being especially hard hit, with only 46% of businesses of less than ten employees offering health care coverage to their workers. Employees who are covered are feeling squeezed as their wage increases are not keeping pace with their health care premium increases. Experts are suggesting that the fix is not necessarily focusing on health care premiums, but in managing rising health care costs. Health care surveys, designed using survey software, are an important constituent for gathering data associated with health care costs, whether indirect or direct.

Health care surveys have always been an important component of research for health professionals, health care policy makers, private practice providers, insurance companies and consumers. Without compromising the safety and quality care given to patients, medical faculty directors and health care administrations are seeking new, more efficient and innovate ways to reduce their firm's or practice's medical expenses; and with the rising costs of health care, they have no choice.

Topics for health care surveys are diverse, ranging from doctor-patient satisfaction to health care insurance choices to public health issues such as drug and alcohol addiction. Health surveys are used to identify quality levels of health care provided and can measure behavioral patterns across a population. Further, health care marketing professionals, agency personnel, health care researchers, health care program designers, academic professionals and policy makers can all benefit from the information received from a health care survey tool.

Medical organizations that may gain from a sophisticated health care survey tool include physician offices, hospital emergency departments, hospital outpatient or inpatient departments, ambulatory services, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home and hospice agencies, home aid agencies and more. Moreover, patient satisfaction surveys can help to improve patient retention and loyalty, which indirectly impacts a practice's health care costs. A physician-patient survey can prove to be invaluable in learning how patients view their doctor in aspects such as time spent, qualification and visit satisfaction (another indirect cost).

There are also a host of cast and characters that interact with the patient behind the scenes in a hospital, medical practice or outsourcing clinic. How are all of these personnel being perceived by the patient? A health survey can provide the answer. Additionally, medical directors considering expansion can benefit by obtaining information from the community about the impact and viability of a new facility. If a medical practice outsources services, a health care survey tool can highlight areas of outsourced services that may not be up to par.

Health care surveys can be conducted through a number of methods, including telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews, paper questionnaires, or though an online survey. Online surveys, or web surveys, are convenient for the responder and less expensive than some of the other survey tool methods. There's no costly face-to-face or phone time, nor is there data input time and potential input errors from paper questionnaires. Perhaps a more important benefit of using an online survey for health surveys is that they are more dynamic than other survey methods. For instance, using survey software, questions may be changed based upon a respondent's answer to a particular question.

Whether a consumer, taxable business, or non-profit agency, health care costs are one of the top, most challenging economic and social problems impacting Americans today. Years ago, health care costs used to be mainly a concern only for the uninsured; now, it's a concern for many of the insured as well. Clearly, drastic changes are needed, and health care surveys can be one important survey tool to help unravel this growing dilemma.
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