Step 2.7 – Think through the logistics of surveying

Outcome: By completing Step 2.7 you will be able to develop a set of practical tasks which need to be completed to automate the processes of getting the survey to a patient and getting it back. This task list will help to determine the initial and ongoing costs and human resources required for administering the survey. 

Things to consider

This page lists the items that need to be considered in Step 2.7 to develop a task list to automate the AHPEQS survey process.

Sampling logistics

Existing patient administration systems can help you automate identification of your eligible sample and reduce the amount of demographic information you need to ask for in the survey itself. If information is linked to survey responses in this way, this needs to be explicitly described in the information materials that patients are given before they agree to participate in the survey.

De-identification can still be achieved, or identification restricted to a small number of people in particular circumstances, by substituting a patient identifier for name and address in the patient experience data collection.

Surveying logistics

Consider current patient experience surveying methods and whether the new question set can be ‘slotted in’ to existing software or processes without any other changes. Depending on the mode of administration, bespoke surveying software, phone interview resources, or printing and mailing services will need to be arranged in-house or contracted.

Consider who will be responsible for each stage of the surveying process. For example:

  • Who or what will trigger the sending out of a survey?
  • Where will the responses ‘land’ when they are returned (which email account or database or physical location)?
  • Who will clean/analyse/report the returned data?
  • To what extent will the sending out, analysis and reporting of responses be done in a central or distributed way? This is especially relevant if your organisation is responsible for a number of services or a geographic area.

You may also need to consider strategies to improve response rates (for example, multiple formats, reminders, patient self-registration portal).

Reporting logistics

This links strongly to your objectives for using AHPEQS. To achieve these objectives, you will need to consider how you will produce reports, how often, what form they will be in, and who will be the audience.

This also links to the mechanisms that you will use to achieve your objectives. Consider what automated processes will need to be in place to ensure results are regularly integrated into other processes and initiatives in the organisation (for example, integration with complaints management, incident management, quality improvement systems and accreditation).

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