Why Should Therapists Measure Patient Feedback?

Should therapists measure patient feedback? It's the key to improvement, but too few practices know how to put data to use. Let's dive in!
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Should therapists measure patient feedback?

It’s safe to say, nearly everyone knows that a constructive feedback loop is essential for ongoing personal and professional growth, which is especially true for both patients and providers.

In fact, by implementing feedback-informed treatment (FIT), an empirically-supported, structured approach to gathering as well as analyzing patient feedback, therapy and rehab providers can help improve the delivery of services such as applied behavior analysis (ABA), physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.

Understanding The Value Of Patient Feedback

Feedback is valuable insight that helps determine the level of therapy effectiveness or monitor receptivity to services. While most therapists rely on their own perspectives and experienced clinical judgment to gauge outcome progress, these assumptions may not always prove accurate, especially in the case where the patient needs assistance with developmental or critical thinking skills. What if the therapist’s view of their working relationship and the quality of care differs from how the patient personally feels? This is where collective feedback adds value and assists in bridging any gaps between either party.

Formal Feedback Is Every Therapist’s Friend

FIT uses formal feedback from a patient to shape their continued treatment. When properly integrated, feedback improves the patient’s voice in their own healing and empowers them to take an active part in their own plan of care. Using a FIT approach in therapy and rehab could mean: 

      • routinely seeking patient feedback from surveys or clinical questionnaires

      • proactively improving patient-provider relationships

      • effectively analyzing patient satisfaction rates and Net Promoter Scores (NPS) 

    Why Should Therapists Measure Patient Feedback: Benefits

    When FIT systems are incorporated into plans of care, patients and providers benefit in several ways. While most therapists use the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) and the Session Rating Scale (SRS) to measure clinical objectives, a review of FIT-related counselor studies show that patients generally perceive the sharing of progress related information as helpful. What’s more, 74.5% of patients describe completing feedback during a therapy session as “convenient,” which proves participating in FIT leads to declined dropout rates, significantly improved therapy and more positive patient experiences

    Outcome Rating Scale (ORS)

    The Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) is an assessment evaluating four areas of functioning (listed below) and measures change or improvement, or lack thereof, from the patient’s perspective in relation to their initial intake score. Since it usually takes about one minute for a patient to complete, it’s beneficial for providers to administer it at the beginning of each therapy session. 

        • Personal well-being (individual functioning)

        • Family, close relationships (interpersonal functioning)

        • Friendships, work and school (social functioning)

        • General sense of well-being (overall functioning)

      Session Rating Scale (SRS)

      Completed by the patient at the end of a session, the Session Rating Scale (SRS) focuses on the provider’s performance and covers the following general topics:

          • Relationship. How did the patient feel before, during and after the session?

          • Goals and Topics. Did the therapist adequately address the patient’s needs?

          • Approach or Method. Is the therapist’s plan of care a good fit for the patient’s desired outcomes?

          • Overall. Was the session productive for the patient or is there opportunity for improvement?

        While these scales were designed for behavioral health professionals at heart, there are many variations on feedback-informed assessments that allow for measuring other components of therapeutic progress as well. For example, physical and occupational therapists working with patients who have injuries also depend on feedback to determine the next course of care and may facilitate forms that gauge physical function, activities of daily living and levels of pain, whereas pediatric therapists could inquire with parents or guardians for a more comprehensive look into the patient’s progress at home, outside of the office.

        A Positive Culture Of Feedback

        For therapy to yield beneficial patient outcomes, it needs to be administered in an engaging clinical atmosphere where patient-provider relationships can be cultivated in a trust-based environment. As a patient, you should always feel comfortable being honest and as a provider, you should consider all patient feedback as constructive criticism, then let it guide you to improve your therapy and rehab practice.

        Here at Raintree Systems, we deliver Software-as-a-Relationship in an effort to improve the quality of care and personalize patient experiences. With our patient engagement and practice management tools, you can seamlessly create touchpoints throughout the entire patient journey, from scheduling email blasts to delivering individual campaigns, including NPS and Therapy Value Surveys. Contact us to get better affiliated with our all-in-one platform and discover the power of Connect here.

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