It is important for aged care providers to know what their clients think of the service they are getting and to seek feedback on what could be done differently or could be improved. Why? Because talking to the client and /or their carer helps the provider to:
- know whether or not they are providing help in a way that satisfies the client;
- gain insights into what they could do better or differently;
- gain ideas for introducing new services that meet the client's needs.
This is a good way to show your clients that their input is important and that you value what they have to say.
But I know coordinators are often time poor, so how can you obtain feedback and record it simply and easily? Here are some suggestions that you could consider:
- Quick and simple paper surveys – How much information do you need? Sometimes a simple three-question survey on whether clients like the meals you are providing is all you need in order to know whether you need to change up the menu plan or not. These can be easily done when the meal is delivered to the client.
- Move into the electronic age – Fast and easy-to-use electronic surveys can be created using something like an iPad and an App such as ‘Survey Master'. These are more interactive for the client and may prick their interest more than a paper form would. This type of survey can be done while out on the meal run or at the centre when clients come in. The data can be easily uploaded to your computer.
- Group feedback – If you have a group activity, why not record this using a video camera and at the same time ask some simple questions about what the group likes about the activity and encourage them to express their ideas for other activities. Ensure you have client approval to record and store this information.
- Individual voice recording of feedback – Most smart phones have an App that allows for the capture of voice recordings. The Apple iPhones come preloaded with ‘Voice Memos'. Again, ask some basic questions and capture client responses. These can then be archived on a computer or a transcript produced. If the idea of transcribing voice recordings sounds tedious, there are people who will do this for minimal cost on websites such as Upwork (formerly Odesk) or Fiverr. There are plenty of big organisations out there using these services successfully.
- Individual feedback captured on video – This is similar to numbers 3 and 4 above, but using the video capabilities of a smart phone or tablet to capture feedback from a client while out in the field. These can be added to a client’s electronic file on a client management system or simply on the computer in a folder under the client’s name.
Of course, getting feedback is only part of the picture. You need to analyse the feedback received and take action to use this. Oh, and don't forget to make sure you let clients know how you have used their feedback otherwise they will feel their voice is not heard and will be less likely to give feedback in the future.
Note: the above mentioned Apps and devices are for example purposes only and in no way indicate endorsement of any program or product over another.