1. What does PULSE stand for?

PULSE is an acronym for: Physicians Universal Leadership Skills Education. However, the program is not just for frontline physicians, but for all healthcare providers and professionals: chiefs of staff, department chairs and chiefs, medical executive committee members, senior management, service line administrators, residents and fellows, mid-levels, nurse-managers, nurses, and any other patient support personnel. About 2000 medical students have also participated in PULSE.


2. What does the PULSE 360 Survey measure?

There are a variety of PULSE 360-degree surveys, each for different healthcare professionals, but the one common thread is self-awareness. Many of the PULSE family of surveys are designed to provide participants with perceptual feedback about their workplace patterns as it relates to professionalism, teamwork, leadership, interpersonal, and communication skills, etc. Other PULSE surveys balance “people skills” with questions related for example to practice style, communication, and quality of care. The PULSE 360 Surveys are not tests; there is no right or wrong answer that a rater can provide since 360-type feedback is based on how the rater perceives the person receiving the feedback. The PULSE 360 Surveys’ sole purpose is to help participants gain a better understanding of how their behavior is perceived by and impacts others. While perception is not always reality, perception of course strongly influences how individuals respond to team members and, therefore, is vital to insight, healthy self-awareness, and professional development.


3. What is the difference between the PULSE 360 Survey and the PULSE Program?

PULSE 360 Survey refers to one of our many survey tools that are used to collect feedback data. PULSE Program refers to a menu of educational and developmental services (i.e. coaching, educational modules, goal-setting, goal-sharing, reminder and reinforcement tools, follow-up survey, etc.) related to the feedback garnered from a PULSE 360 Survey with the goal of improved quality, professionalism, leadership, communication, motivational, and/or teamwork skills.


4. What is the PULSE 360 Survey/Program?

The PULSE (Physicians Universal Leadership Skills Education) Survey is a “360°” (also called multi-source or multi-rater) educational tool that provides each participant with developmental feedback (on a variety of behaviors related to professionalism, interpersonal and communication skills, leadership, and teamwork). It highlights opportunities for improvement as well as the participant’s strengths, strong suits, and areas that others value and appreciate.  The PULSE 360 Survey has been used in over 200 hospitals, medical centers, and practices throughout North America (Mexico, Canada, and the United States), including six Harvard Hospitals.


5. How do I know that the survey feedback I give is anonymous?

The PULSE Summary Report is designed both to provide helpful feedback to the receiver as well as to protect the anonymity of the raters were providing candid feedback. PULSE knows that anonymity supports candidness.


6. If the survey is anonymous, how do you know I have not completed it?

Your survey is absolutely confidential and anonymous. No one outside of the PULSE Program is able to access the individual responses you have provided to a participant. For your convenience, our software is programmed with a highly automated reminder system that notifies participants that there is still time to complete a given survey, so the “receiver” – who typically has requested your feedback – can benefit from your valuable feedback and comments. The PULSE automated reminder emails are electronically tied to the survey links you receive by email and are programed to  stay open until that survey has been completed. Once you click the “Finish” button at the end of the survey, the reminders automatically stop. The PULSE 360 Survey reminder system is by default programmed to send reminders every 3 calendar days to all raters until the survey is completed or we hear back from you. Since being a physician involves year-round (and sometimes even 24/7) dedication, our system doesn’t skip past weekends or holidays.


7. Who has participated in the PULSE Program?

Over 15,000 physicians and other healthcare providers have received PULSE 360 Survey feedback from over 1 million survey responses. The program has been used with a variety of healthcare practitioners, from medical students to residents and fellows, to nurse-practitioners and physician assistants, to infection control professionals and lab researchers, to mental health professionals and physical therapists, to dentists and podiatrists, to attendings and community physicians, and physician-leaders (such as chiefs of staff, chairs of departments, and chief medical officers). In short, almost every kind of healthcare practitioner has participated in the PULSE.


8. What is the purpose of the assessment?

The PULSE 360 Survey and feedback process has one purpose: improving quality. The feedback assessment is intended to help individuals and departments gain a greater awareness of how they are perceived by others in the workplace in order to support the highest level of practice proficiency, professionalism, interpersonal communication, leadership, and teamwork. Armed with greater awareness and insight, professional development becomes more focused and easier. You can’t change what you don’t know.


9. Why am I being asked to provide feedback?

You were likely selected as a rater because the participant works with you frequently or believes your feedback would be informative, enlightening, or helpful. Some facilities have the raters chose the recipients but, in general, to prevent skewing of feedback data, we recommend the “more, the merrier” approach, i.e., that almost all team members be invited to provide feedback.


10. How frequently will I receive survey requests?

The surveys typically are often sent out automatically on a quarterly basis for those seeking more frequent feedback. Others may request monthly feedback as a kind of “booster shot.” Finally, some receive feedback each year as their “annual check up.” The frequency of feedback is often like working out at the gym: the more often you do it, the more progress you make. One final note: You may receive multiple survey requests if a department or division is participating and several participants would like your feedback. Although you can pace out your feedback, and will receive reminders, make sure to complete the survey within a week or two.


11. What if I don’t work with this person frequently enough to answer all the questions?

The PULSE 360 Survey allows the rater to answer questions with a “Do Not Know At All” option. You can also indicate on the last question that how often you actually work with the person, including that you do not work with the physician at all. However, try to give feedback if you’ve had some contact with the receiver over the time period on the top of the survey page. ideally, the more raters who give feedback, the more robust, accurate, meaningful, and helpful the summary report can be. Even if you have little contact with the physician, your feedback can still contribute by helping a good physician or practitioner become better. Don’t give feedback if you don’t know, and try to provide responses to any questions that you are able.


12. When do I use my ID and Passcode at the bottom of the survey request?

Your ID and Passcode are only used if you need to manually enter the survey because your link is not working properly or if it was blocked by your computer’s network or filters. Otherwise, you do not need to use the ID and code. Once you complete your survey request, the system will give you a thank you message and you will be automatically logged out. All you have to do is close your internet browser when you are done.


For more information, call us at:


  • 305-285-8900 (US)

  • 416-800-9203 (Canada)


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