Insights into real-time patient feedback and audit methodology used by AHF members

Insights into real-time patient feedback and audit methodology used by AHF members

Survey conducted by Touchwork at AHF 2022
Written by: Jonathan Youngleson & Johann Leitner

AHF member survey on patient feedback


During the AHF 2022 Conference held at Scottsdale, AZ from Aug 8-11, 2022 Touchwork ran a competition/survey using its real-time feedback data collection and analysis solution. Prior to the conference Touchwork sent out an email blast to the AHF pre-conference mailing list, inviting conference participants to enter a competition for a set of Dalstrong professional knives and a leather roll-up, and to visit the Touchwork booth at the business partner Tradeshow and Marketplace.

The main aim of this competition was to encourage and expose AHF conference attendees to the Touchwork real-time feedback technology, whilst at the same time collecting the data presented in this article for the general information of the self-operated healthcare foodservices sector in the US. Touchwork offers real-time feedback and audit solutions primarily in the higher education, healthcare and senior dinig, as well as airports and hospitality sectors. The Touchwork technology also lends itself to conducting the kind of survey used to collect this data, and is well suited to the type of audits required both voluntarily and by state or federal regulatory requirements.

AHF members were sent a short questionnaire referring to current and future real-time feedback practices and healthcare facility audit requirements.


All 186 pre-conference list delegates were sent an email invitation by Touchwork to enter our competition for the Dalstrong professional knife set and leather roll-up. The invitation contained a QR code, which when scanned with any smart device, takes the entrant directly a webform containing a set of easy to answer survey questions. These questions were related to collection practices (present and future) for patient feedback, and auditing practices (present and future).

In order to increase the participation rate, conference attendees (approximately 188 as determined from the post conference attendance register) were encouraged by word of mouth, and a promotional Touchwork handout demo card illustrating the functionality of patient/staff/visitor real-time feedback and an Audit demo card.

Members who submitted a survey response were notified by Touchwork of a unique entry code, which they were required to present at the Touchwork Booth during the business partner Tradeshow and Marketplace, where their entry was confirmed. This step was thought necessary to enable the Touchwork team to meet the AHF members in person. A winner was drawn and announced at the conclusion of the Tradeshow and Marketplace.



72% collect patient feedback
Of the 28% remaining, 71% say it is very important and 50% plan to do so

How feedback is collected:

  • Meal rounding using paper – 23%
  • Meal rounding using an App – 16%
  • Meal rounding (other/not specified) – 14%
  • Patient comment cards – 19%
  • Feedback via QR code – 11%
  • Other – 17%


85% conduct regular audits
64% still use paper for audits

How audits are performed:

  • Paper based audits – 64%
  • Web form-based audits – 20%
  • Audits using App – 11%
  • Other audits (not specified) – 5%

Audit types conducted:

  • Meal rounding audits – 16%
  • Test tray audits – 27%
  • Host/hostess audits – 13%
  • Tray accuracy audits – 21%
  • Food safety audits – 21%


48% are getting feedback
64% say feedback is very important
45% use comment cards

How cafeteria feedback is collected:

  • Comment cards – 45%
  • Kiosk – 6%
  • Scanning a QR code – 19% 
  • Text message – 10%
  • Other (not specified) – 19%

Discussion and conclusions:

Creating a personalized and responsive customer service environment is a stated priority for nearly 88% of companies (Deloitte global contact center survey, 2017). This makes sense, given that 96% of customers report they would stop doing business with a company after a bad customer experience.

To gather information required to improve the customer experience (CX), businesses must rely on customer feedback management (CFM). CFM enables companies to proactively gather data about customers’ experiences and wants, and their suggestions that can be used to identify areas for improvement, and to allocate the appropriate resources to enact positive change, streamline service delivery and service recovery, improve products, and thereby increase customer satisfaction.

Touchwork is a company that has the solutions that enable you to gather real-time “in-the-moment” customer feedback, and the tools to easily analyze and report on masses of data that enable you to make strategic management decisions that will enhance your business.

To enable AHF members attending the 2022 Conference in Scottsdale, AZ in August Touchwork offered the chance to win a highly coveted Dalstrong chef’s professional knife set and leather roll-up carry case valued at $1,000. To enter, members had to simply scan a QR-code to access the competition, and then answer a few easy survey questions. The aggregated responses are presented here in the results.

From these responses it is evident that the 72% of AHF members sampled are collecting patient feedback, while 28% do not. Almost half of those collecting feedback do it through a paper or card-based system. Over 70% of respondents believe it is very important to collect feedback, while 29% believe it to be moderately important. None of the respondents believed it to be unimportant. 85% of the respondents are conducting audits, while 15% were uncertain. About 64% conduct paper-based audits, while 31% use web-based forms or an app. Typical audits performed included meal rounding, test tray, tray accuracy, host/hostess and food safety audits.

“Regulatory readiness is a hot topic within healthcare, with an increased emphasis and focus on the overall food service component through infection control, environment of care, patient safety, human resources, emergency management, leadership, and patient care chapters of the survey. Foodservice is becoming an ever more increasing focus on these inspections and operators need to be prepared and armed with the tools for success. ” (Source: AHF Regulatory Resource Center)

Touchwork provides the expertise and tools required to enable you to meet this requirement.

There is a consensus need to collect feedback from patients in the healthcare foodservices sector, but by and large this is done by older paper-based methods. This is time consuming, tedious, and fraught with errors and inconsistencies. There is technology available that enables real-time “in-the-moment” feedback to be collected, analyzed, and reported with ease and accuracy, thus enabling better strategic management decisions and leading to increased profitability. The increased pressure to comply with state and federal audit requirements means that this function of food services managers will become an increasingly important function.

Other relevant resources


Food safety regulations

customer experience

Close the CX loop on your food service operations

Food Safety Audit & Inspection trends

Food service audit standards and best practices

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