There are so many different options for performing research on your patient’s experience and what their needs are. Although they all have pros and cons, one of the best ways to get the most accurate results is through mixed-methods research. Let’s briefly discuss these different methods and how you can combine them to get the full picture.
This method can be seen in two ways: typical paper surveys, like the HCAHPS survey, or text message surveys.
After your patient leaves the facility, they may receive a textual survey in the mail to reflect on their experience and provide feedback. This is a much slower method as it must be mailed to the patient and then mailed back.
Your facility could also use text messaging to gather responses and patient feedback. However, it’s important to recognize that if you use this method, you need to have a secure, HIPAA-compliant SMS platform so that your patient’s data stays secure and private.
In-Patient Exit Interviews
Another popular option for gathering patient data is through in-patient exit interviews. This is a great method for gathering data before the patient leaves the facility and is also helpful to ensure the patient has any final questions answered and leaves with a positive experience.
To make the most of these exit interviews, providers may have specific questions they ask, but it should feel more like a conversation. This allows the patient to feel like their provider is actually listening to their responses, not just gathering information for mixed-methods research.
A few days after the visit, you could also perform phone-call research. This gives a more personal feel than an email because there is someone listening on the other line. Phone research should also be used to clear up any patient concerns or direct patients to additional information should they need it.
One problem with live phone research is the staff time required to schedule and conduct the call. When you consider the time it takes to work around missed calls, staff PTO, training and the actual time on the phone, live phone-call research is not the most cost-effective option.
Similar to phone research, an email could be sent to the patient a few days after the visit to check in and clear up any concerns, as well as give the facility some valuable information. This method allows the patient to fill out questions on their own time and can gather greater details than a text survey alone. There are plenty of survey options, but similar to text messaging, you should use a platform that can keep your patient’s information private and secure.
Many of Notivate’s healthcare customers combine email, text and web-based surveys. Sending an email or text message that links to a secure and personalized landing page to gather data, web-based surveys allows you to gather in-depth, actionable data to help improve your healthcare facility processes and procedures.
Performing Mixed Methods Research
In order to perform mixed methods research, you would use a combination of the previously-mentioned methods. This allows you to fill in gaps left from one method by using a secondary measure.
One article explains that mixed methods research combines the quantitative data that the provider would perform by looking through patient data and other research that provides numerical data. Then, they can combine this information with qualitative research through the methods discussed in this article.
For example, the data from an in-person exit interview could be used or “rolled over” for an SMS survey sent a few hours after the patient leaves the facility. This method of mixed methods research allows you to build upon the data you learned previously to ensure that your patient’s care is continuously monitored. In addition, they won’t simply be answering the same questions over and over again with each survey sent.
Additionally, you could use mixed-methods research to reach the patient in multiple ways. If they are not responsive using mail-in surveys, you could try email. Or, if they aren’t responding to an email, you could try an automated phone call. This ensures you have multiple touchpoints to connect with a patient and gather the information you are looking for.
Lastly, you can use mixed methods research to combine what your providers know about the patient and their conditions and compare it to the data they receive from these surveys. This will allow you to better treat patients with these same conditions or concerns in the future.
Mixed Methods Research with Notivate’s Platform
Notivate’s platform makes mixed methods research easy to perform. With our different EHR integrations, you can track previously-submitted data, contact information, and send out private and encrypted messages or surveys via email, text or phone to gather information. If you would like more information on how you can use Notivate’s platform to perform research, contact us today.