Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation

Experimenting with Patient Feedback

Simply introducing a method for patient feedback created a noticeable difference in staff behavior by the patients.


Knowing what our patients think an important aspect of how we continuously and accurately assess where we can improve. Getting such feedback in a timely manner will not only help us know how we are doing but also allow us to identify patients with less then optimal experiences and address them sooner.


So how do we engage patients to get their feedback? Often the best way to learn is to just do it. So that’s what we did. The survey was given to every patient when they checked in at the Penn medicine Heart and Vascular Center. The survey asked patients to rate their experience with staff, how well we communicated with them, and finally their overall experience.

After trying the paper survey for two weeks we then offered a text and voice-mail option for two weeks. This was more open-ended asking patients simply, “let us know how we are doing”. A feedback phone number was advertised using collateral around the practice as well as a card that was given to each patient at check-in.


We engaged over 1,000 patients in one practice in a 4 week period to collect feedback about their experiences as well as identified and followed-up on ~20 “poor experiences”.

We found a major difference in participation with these two approaches. The paper method had a 69% participation rate in contrast to the mobile method with 1.45%. We also saw greater qualitative value with the paper version. The design facilitated interactions between staff and patients that actually changed the patient experience. Patients noticed a tangible difference in the way staff interacted with them, making eye contact, and introducing them selves.


Karen Logan
Director of Administrative Operations
Department of Cardiovascular Division, Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine

Adrian DeFelice
Practice Manager
Department of Cardiovascular Division, Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine

The staff of the Heart and Vascular Center
Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine

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