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Does the Rating Point Scale on the Patient Satisfaction Tool Matter?


Our hospital has used a four-point satisfaction scale for the last decade. However, we are really working on our key drivers of satisfaction. I feel that the four-point scale will not really show our efforts of improvement as much as a five-point or higher scale. Further, is it better to label the scale (Very Satisfied, Satisfied, Somewhat Dissatisfied, Very Dissatisfied…) or simply ask patients to give a number one to five, where five is “completely satisfied” and one is “not satisfied”?


The “verbiage” and point scale will be whatever your vendor has selected. The important point is to become very knowledgeable and comfortable with the tool and to have staff using the language of the tool as they go about creating a culture that will focus on customer satisfaction. Most tools have questions that pinpoint the eight to ten things that are most important to patients. I don’t believe the importance lies with the numeric scale but rather with meeting the needs that the survey tools list, and measuring ourselves against others in an “apples to apples” approach.