The Problem

Golden Valley was using a large, traditional patient satisfaction vendor to administer surveys via direct mail. The challenges with this approach included:

  • A long time lag in receiving data made it difficult to accurately tie patient satisfaction scores back to specific encounters or incidents, hampering Golden Valley’s ability to “figure out what’s really going on” from an operational perspective.

  • Limited flexibility in creating new surveys for the range of different specialties and services offered at Golden Valley meant that the organization couldn’t adequately tailor and assess the metrics that mattered most for each unit.

  • No ability to customize surveys for appropriate literacy levels – as well as for different languages (especially Spanish) – created confusion among key segments of its patient population.

  • A lack of mobile functionality yielded very low completion rates and thus limited, unreliable data.

About GVHC
  • 30+ health centers in California’s Central Valley.
  • One of the largest Federally Qualified Health Centers in the country.
  • Provides a variety of services that include primary care, behavioral health, dental, women’s health, pediatrics, podiatry and optometry.
  • Joint Commission recognized primary care medical home.
  • Recipient of the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval.

With Tonic, we can quickly go into the problems that pop up — we can get to the heart of the matter right away. Tonic gives us the true pulse on the patient perspective.”

– Patient Satisfaction Leader,
Golden Valley Health Centers

The Solution

Switching to Tonic, Golden Valley was able to solve for these critical challenges—and more. Customizing the Tonic platform to its specific needs, Golden Valley now enjoys a robust patient satisfaction solution that provides:

  • Real time data and insights that allow staff to correlate scores with specific encounters in order to intervene and encourage improvements in clinical workflow, as well as reinforce best practice behaviors among the staff.

  • Flexibility to change or create surveys on the fly in order to gather real time feedback from patients on new initiatives, programs and/or operational changes (such as an adjustment to fees or a clinic’s working hours).

  • Intuitive and friendly surveys that are tailored to the unique needs of each department, as well as to different literacy and language needs within its patient population.

  • Robust dashboards that allow Golden Valley leadership to easily compare and contrast patient satisfaction levels across different sites and providers, and trend this data over time.

  • Dramatically higher completion rates due to the ease and immediacy of administering surveys on an iPad, thus yielding much more abundant data to help guide decision-making.

The Result


than ever before


than ever before

actionable data

than ever before

More data than ever before


increase in completion rates versus its prior vendor


increase in surveys that are completed in Spanish


(and growing) completed surveys are collected each year using Tonic, yielding a much larger data set to base decisions on

Better data than ever before

Golden Valley now tracks custom metrics that are critical to the organization, which they’ve never been able to report on reliably prior to Tonic, such as:

  • Cycle time / length of visit

  • Appointment date satisfaction / length of scheduling

  • Refill request responses

  • Referral notification

More actionable data than ever before

  • Golden Valley now has an automated means to tie patient satisfaction scores (such as Net Promoter) to performance incentives for front office and medical assistant staff. Clinic managers and executive leadership can check these scores in real time and make any changes as needed.

  • Golden Valley is also better prepared to track new metrics and connect those to provider incentives when regulations change: “Prior to Tonic, we never had the ability to drill down into provider-specific data.”

What’s Next

  • Based on its success with the Tonic platform on iPads, Golden Valley is now planning to use Tonic’s SMS capabilities to roll out the automated delivery of patient satisfaction surveys via text message immediately after an appointment to boost completion rates even further.

  • Golden Valley has also elected to expand its use of Tonic outside of patient satisfaction, where it will soon start using the platform for widespread behavioral health screening across its network.

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