In January 2016, Arbour Health System initiated a Referrer Satisfaction Survey program for its five hospitals. While AHS had a program some time ago that assessed referrer satisfaction through brief telephone surveys, the new process provides standardized surveying and benchmarking through a web-based application. Each hospital’s community relations/business development representative sends out surveys no less than quarterly to recent inpatient referrers. A letter of invitation to participate in the survey is sent electronically or by mail. Referrers utilize codes that link the survey back to the facility and provide a level of security from automated responses. The day following a survey submittal, the CEO and community relations/business development staff receives a report which includes number of responses, aggregated question scores, and written responses. The reports also include benchmark statistics from other UHS behavioral health hospitals.

Survey questions include those on ease of admission process, timeliness of referrer being informed of the disposition of the referral, helpfulness of staff, care coordination overall, quality of patient care, and whether the hospital is their provider of choice. Scoring is on a one to five point scale from poor to excellent. There is an open-ended question for the referrer to provide the hospital staff with any other information that they want to provide.

Data is gathered and reviewed internally to identify opportunities for improvement and provides feedback on staff performance. Much of the feedback to date has been positive and referrer comments have praised intake department staff and hospital clinicians. Referrers are encouraged to participate in the survey as it is an important part of the organization’s performance improvement effort and action taken on results will positively impact patient access and quality of care.

For more information on the Referrer Satisfaction Survey, please contact Judith Merel, Regional Director, Business Development at [email protected]


From AHS News, March/April 2016