Ideal Survey Length: How Many Questions Should My Survey Include?

Patient filling out online survey with mobile device

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Throughout the healthcare industry, providing patient satisfaction surveys is a typical way for medical practices of any specialty to discover ways to better serve their patient base. Gather useful and actionable information from your patients by keeping them engaged with the survey.  

Best Practices To Keep Your Survey An Ideal Length

Keep the Survey Under 10 Questions 

In general, it is best to keep surveys short and purposeful. In general, this means keeping the survey between 5 to 10 questions long or under 15 minutes. If the survey is being completed on a mobile phone, it is considered best practice to keep the survey under 9 minutes long. 

Surveys that take longer than 12 minutes can bore respondents, causing them to rush when answering questions or leave the survey before completing it.

To get the most useful data from patients through your surveys, you need to keep them engaged. 

Ask the Right Survey Questions

To ask the right questions, you need to consider both the question topic and whether you are asking open-ended or close-ended questions. Use a rating scale for at least 75% of the questions. Keep the number of open-ended questions in your survey to one or two. 

If your survey is too long, you can review each question to trim unnecessary ones. Recall your original purpose for the survey. What are you trying to achieve with this survey? Review each question to make sure it is serving your goal.  

Further, exclude questions that you’re incapable of changing within your practice. Make sure that the questions being asked are related to elements of your practice that can be changed based on feedback from questions on the survey. 

Consider a Follow-up Campaign

Getting valuable insights by asking specific questions while refraining from asking too many questions leading to survey abandonment can be a tricky balance. 

To get the best of both, consider asking your survey population a base survey question set and following up with certain respondents with more in-depth questions. 

For example, at the end of your survey, ask if your patients are willing to take a follow-up survey or have a conversation to gather more info.   

This can be helpful If you are struggling to cut down your survey questions or need more detailed information on specific areas of their experience to make practice improvements. 

Make Your Communication Personal

In addition to making sure your patient satisfaction survey is the ideal length, including small gestures of personalization can go a long way. Personalization in the survey can keep the respondent engaged and can in turn boost survey response rates. 

Customize your survey with information you already know about your patients. For example, “Hello, [name], we’d like to ask you a few questions about your visit with Dr. [name].” Compare this to simply saying, “take the survey” or “please take our survey.”

More Survey Tips and Best Practices

Beyond survey length, there are several factors that impact the success of your survey.  A great way to measure whether your survey is effective is to consider your survey response rate and most importantly, whether you are receiving responses from a good sample size. Visit our Resources to read more about survey design best practices.

Create the Ideal Survey with ClearSurvey

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ClearSurvey helps medical practices offer the best patient satisfaction in healthcare. We can help you develop a custom survey question-set based on your goals so you can gather data for useful insights. Learn more about how ClearSurvey can elevate your practice or schedule a demo today

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