For nearly two decades patient and family satisfaction surveys have been distributed across the AltaPointe continuum. From residential to outpatient to hospitals, every program and age level receives a survey.
Sherill Alexander, director of performance improvement, says the surveys are fashioned after the Mental Health Statistics Improvement Program and have been used by community mental health centers statewide since the late ’90s.
“We use five surveys at AltaPointe, which include the Patient Perception of Care, Treatment and Services; Quality of Life; Family Perception of Care, Treatment and Services; Youth Perception of Care, Treatment and Services; Youth Family Perception of Care, Treatment and Services,” Alexander said. “The surveys give our patients a voice, a say in their treatment and that is important.”
Answers provide path to improvement
The questions are general and focus on a patient’s satisfaction with services. The following examples show the type of information asked: “Do you feel you were treated with respect?” and “How do you feel about the staff?” as well as the simplest of questions about the food served in the cafeterias.
Brandi Williams, consumer needs coordinator, says some of the more beneficial answers come from the comment sections of the surveys.
“A lot of times patients are truly open about how they feel about their treatment and will go into great length about our programs,” Williams said. “The surveys and responses are imperative to our organization and allow us to identify trends and issues in any areas that may seem problematic so we can address and correct them.”
Performance improvement distributed more than 6,000 surveys during fiscal year 2015-2016. Each year results show AltaPointe is meeting the needs of its patients with most demographics scoring in the 80 to 90 percentile range. Williams says the target goal for overall satisfaction is 95 percent.
Electronic surveys will improve system
Surveys are circulated on a quarterly rotation, which means each program receives a survey four times a year. Williams says it is up to each program to make sure every active patient is given one to complete. Without the surveys, Williams says there is no way of gauging AltaPointe’s performance.
Alexander says it is her hope the surveys evolve to include electronic surveying, which she believes will increase participation among programs and patients.
“I believe paper surveys create a barrier, and once they become electronic the patient’s voice will become even louder and clearer,” Alexander said. “Then we will receive even more information about the care and services provided by AltaPointe.”