Tag: patient experience

4 Ways To Optimize The Digital Patient Experience In Healthcare

Two Men Standing Inside a Room

Healthcare continues to change and evolve as time goes on. It’s essential that with the advancements in technology that doctors, hospitals, and medical practices alike keep up.

Your top priority as a provider should be your patients and their overall experience working with you. In a digital era, this can be a tough transition if you’re set in your old ways and not online. If you want to provide the ultimate care and earn respect in the industry then you must embrace technology. Learn four ways to optimize the digital patient experience in healthcare.

1. Be Mobile-Friendly

Launching a mobile-friendly website is one way to optimize the digital patient experience in healthcare. Make sure that it’s easy to access and read on a mobile device. Include all pertinent information and ensure that your patients don’t become frustrated or confused when viewing your site on a phone or tablet. Also, you may want to consider sending out reminders via text message and giving patients the ability to schedule appointments online through your website. Your patients will appreciate being able to hop online and make an appointment instead of having to wait on hold on the phone.

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Healthcare Consumers Voice An Expectation for Personalized Experiences

Chris Evanguelidi

By Chris Evanguelidi, director, enterprise healthcare market, Redpoint Global.

In a new survey of more than 1,000 U.S. healthcare consumers conducted by Dynata and commissioned by Redpoint Global, more than 80% of respondents said that they prefer to use digital channels (online messaging, virtual appointments, texts, etc.) to communicate with healthcare providers and brands at least some of the time, and 40% prefer digital communications most of the time.

Along with digital-first communications and experiences becoming a standard expectation, consumers are also on record that they want their providers to display a deep, personal understanding across the full spectrum of engagement touchpoints and channels. In the survey, 60% of consumers said they would choose a provider based on how well the provider understands them, beyond patient data, so that the experience is relevant and personalized. Beyond patient data means that a provider has a single view of the healthcare consumer, to include clinical and claims data, consumer and social determinants of health (SDOH) data such as economic stability, access to health care, etc.

Furthermore, 66% said the selection of a provider was dependent on the provider’s ability to communicate in a timely and consistent manner.

Examples of the depth of understanding that patients now expect – and that are also indicative of the digital-first mindset – are a provider’s ability to proactively contact patients at the right time and in the right context (e.g., via text, email or online portal). Nearly half (44%) of respondents expressed that this ability is now the expectation. And 36% said they expect communications from their provider to match their in-person experiences in terms of relevancy, consistency and outcomes.

In a recent Harris Poll survey about marketer and consumer perceptions about customer experiences across various industries, consumers consistently ranked healthcare third (behind retail and financial services) in terms of providing a consistent experience that demonstrates a thorough understanding of the customer. Yet when consumers were asked which industry should provide the most consistent experience that demonstrates a thorough understanding, healthcare polled first.

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Meeting Practice and Patient Priorities In 2022: 3 Predictions for Health IT

Zach Zettler

By Zach Zettler, president, Updox

In 2020, healthcare providers quickly implemented new solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, providers evaluated their ongoing needs and optimized their patient engagement and operational processes.

As we enter a new year, the pandemic and its effects continue to influence the healthcare landscape. The consumerism of healthcare continues to drive the deployment of virtual care technology and paperless solutions, as providers focus on increasing patient engagement. At the same time, providers continue to experience challenges with revenue loss and burnout, placing strain on both budgets and staff alike.

As a result, some of the biggest priorities for healthcare providers in 2022 will revolve around how they can best engage patients without burdening staff. Healthcare technology will rise to meet the challenge, supporting providers with solutions to help them increase efficiency, streamline operations and continuously improve the patient experience while reducing time spent on administrative tasks. Read on for three healthcare technology trends we can expect to see in 2022.

Telehealth Will Grow As Hybrid Care Models Develop

By now, patients have grown so accustomed to telehealth that it has become an expectation for many. In fact, data shows that 41% of consumers expect their healthcare provider to offer telehealth appointment options as a result of the pandemic.

However, in-person appointments are still important and even a preferred option for many patients—in a recent poll by NPR, Harvard University, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, while 82% of respondent households that used telehealth reported being satisfied with it, 64% of households that have used telehealth said they would have preferred an in-person visit over telehealth in their last visit with their provider.

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How Private Practices Can Utilize Technology To Deliver Quality Patient Experiences and Drive Patient Loyalty

Travis Schneider

By Travis Schneider, co-founder & co-CEO, PatientPop.

Developing a top-tier practice requires doctors to be more than great practitioners. If you do not have a loyal patient base and a positive reputation, you will only be facing an uphill battle in your path to success.

Your ability to attract and retain patients will depend on how well you and your staff understand your patients’ needs, especially with patients having more choices for healthcare than they ever have. Healthcare practices may feel the same pressures that brick-and-mortar retailers face now. Look no further than Walmart’s Health Center Program and Amazon Care to see what the future portends.

To gain attention and stay competitive, you will need to position your practice as a top-of-mind option for prospective patients. At PatientPop, we regularly survey patients to identify what they care about most concerning their healthcare experiences. Our 2021 Patient Perspective Survey results underscore the obvious: All private practices must consider patient feedback and nurture patient relationships to attain meaningful and consistent growth.

Fortunately, the blueprint for achieving this is straightforward. With the right technology and workflows in place, you can respond to patient feedback and deliver personalized patient experiences in a way that sets your practice up for success.

Cover Website Fundamentals and Claim Your Online Profiles

Today’s patients will turn to the Internet first when researching a physician’s capabilities and reputation. Our survey found that 74.5% of patients have done just this while looking for care or selecting a primary care physician or specialist. Therefore, your practice needs to have the proper online marketing fundamentals to capitalize on this trend. This process starts with tailoring your website and marketing channels to satisfy your ideal patients’ needs.

First, refine and optimize your website to ensure it is user-friendly and mobile-ready. To see where your website currently stands and uncover other improvement opportunities, PatientPop has created a “competitive scanner” that any practice can use to determine their online performance in their market, compared to others in their specialty. Within moments, the scanner offers a closer look at your Google rank, online reputation, overall web presence, as well as your website’s speed, searchability, and more. You can use your report as inspiration to make changes to improve your digital footprint and searchability.

Once you are comfortable with your website’s appearance and performance, optimizing your site to engage with prospective patients using Google is essential. The search engine giant currently owns an 88% market share of the online search sector, and we have found that it remains the search engine of choice for patients seeking new providers.

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The Outsized Impact of Digital Engagement On Patient Experience

Noel Felipe

By Noel Felipe, revenue cycle practice leader, Firstsource.

The pandemic has created a sense of urgency around improving patient engagement. Consumers accustomed to Amazon-like retail experiences are now embracing digital across personal transactions, including healthcare. Telehealth and remote monitoring have gained rapid traction, especially for non-emergent conditions and follow-up. At the same time, outpatient visits are rapidly outpacing inpatient. Together, these two trends are resulting in patients spending very little time at hospitals receiving care and paying bills.

With more care delivered through outpatient and virtual settings, healthcare leaders are asking: how do we effectively engage patients to optimize the patient financial experience and enhance recovery?

The answer lies in understanding shifting consumer expectations and designing a patient engagement solution that best fits their evolving needs.

What do modern consumers expect?

As robo calls continue to rise, Americans are using their smartphones to screen calls, making it harder for providers to connect with patients after service. Studies show that the chance of collecting goes down by 58% once patients leave the facility, as they are less motivated to pay once the services have been rendered. This means providers must begin the patient engagement process early in the revenue cycle at the pre-service stage and maintain high levels of engagement during and after service to improve their net revenue.

The good news is consumers increasingly prefer digital channels of communication that offer the flexibility to engage with providers outside traditional business hours and in the privacy of their homes. They also want to get things done quickly and easily. Whether they are shopping for a provider or checking their health insurance coverage, they want to get the information they need, when they need it – and they are willing to use self-service to achieve this.

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Piecing Together The Fragmented Patient Experience

By Derek Strauss, Co-founder and COO, Tellescope.

Derek Strauss

In 2021 patients expect a digital health experience that is on par with their favorite consumer brand. While COVID has forced many healthcare services to rapidly adopt digital services, we’re still a long way from giving patients and the organizations managing these new services a good experience.

From a patient’s, perspective being able to text, email, or video chat with their doctor is increasingly becoming a must-have for the “modern patient experiencet”. In 2019 alone, 91% of patients survey by DrFirst wanted the ability to text a care team member. [1]

While some organizations have either built or bought tools that allow them to meet their patient’s expectations, the result has largely resulted in an inefficient workflow for care team members given the number of tools required to complete the job. In addition to that, it provides care team members with an incomplete view of a patient given that data is often being stored in separate places.

What do patients want?

Patients want care to be convenient and personalized to them. As the common saying goes “no two people are alike”. Whether it’s their preference of how they receive care such as in-person, video, text, etc, or how thorough of an explanation they want about a diagnosis, the saying holds true.

The 2019 NRC Health Healthcare Consumer Trends report found that 51.3% of patients value convenient access to care more than anything when deciding whether or not to stay with a provider. [2] To meet the demand from their patients, companies have had to scramble to find viable options that make care convenient. However, this additional convenience comes at a cost for care team members managing the process.

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How To Create A Customer-Centered TeleHealth Experience

The COVID-19 pandemic has indeed shed some light on the healthcare sector, especially in terms of how services are rendered. Even though remote care services have been around for a while, they have only now started gaining popularity.

These services continue to revolutionize the healthcare sector even beyond the pandemic, which is a welcome innovation. With the speed at which the world is moving, and with the changes that come with it, healthcare cannot remain the same since livelihoods depend on it. There is the need, however, for a more customer-centered approach when it comes to telehealth, that will be discussed in this article.

Why must telehealth focus on the customer experience? 

Customer Experience, Best, Excellent, Services Rating

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There are a lot of benefits of telemedicine and telehealth in general, and there is evidence to prove it. It is cost-effective and speeds up the process of diagnosis, not to mention the convenience it brings. However, in conversations about the implementations, one of the things that are not at the top of the list is patient (or customer) satisfaction. This is surprising because when it comes to healthcare, patients need the reassurance of the results of the service they have paid for, and they need to reap all the benefits of the service and more. 

What it means to create a patient-centered experience is to consider the patient’s satisfaction before other features, including how sophisticated the technology is, when evaluating the platforms. There are a few questions to answer in this regard. For example, how easy would patients find it to use the platform? Will they be eager to use it? Would the service be faster than when receiving care in person? And what is there any significant difference in the quality and outcomes of the service? 

In creating a telehealth platform that answers these questions and many others for the benefits of the customer, there is an opportunity to reap certain benefits. For one, the financial incentive that comes from taking this initiative cannot be passed on. Facilities and organizations that go this route also get to gain new clients and hence more business.

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Meeting Patient Demands With Virtual Care Beyond COVID-19

By Michael Morgan, CEO, Updox.

Michael Morgan

Once COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic and states across the country began issuing shelter in place orders, one thing became very clear: there was a crucial need for healthcare providers to adopt innovative solutions to continue caring for patients.

Practices needed a way to see their patients outside the office — and they needed it fast. As a result, telehealth quickly changed from a ‘plus’ or ‘nice to have’ to a requirement to stay in business.

At a time when many patients were quarantined and canceling appointments, practices were losing a significant amount of revenue. Telehealth provided a way for physicians to continue seeing their patients and keep their offices running.

In fact, implementing telehealth can also save practices an average of $200 per patient by reducing costs associated with missed or canceled patient appointments. As a result, telehealth skyrocketed during COVID-19, with nearly half of Americans (42%) reporting having used telehealth services since the pandemic first began, according to a recent Harris Poll survey commissioned by Updox.

Now that patients have become accustomed to the telehealth experience with their trusted physician, which is being provided by independent practices and large health systems alike, virtual care is on track to becoming fully integrated into our healthcare system. As we look ahead, healthcare providers will need to start balancing virtual and in-office appointments – and as they do, they will continue to adopt innovative new virtual care solutions that meet changing consumer expectations. Here is a look at what’s in store.

Meeting Patient Demands

According to the survey by Updox, around half of Americans say that if they were to use telehealth services post COVID-19, convenience (51%) would be among the most important factors to them. Drilling down deeper, of patients who like using telehealth services, 65% say it’s because telehealth visits are more convenient than in-office appointments. Additionally, Americans who like using telehealth like it because it’s easier to schedule an appointment via telehealth than an in-office appointment (44%), and because follow-ups/communications post-appointment are more streamlined (38%).

In the traditional healthcare environment, patients would often have to block out hours for a doctor’s appointment. But with telehealth, a visit can take as little as 15 minutes. This is not only more convenient for patients, but it also enables physicians to “see” more patients during the day. By using virtual care solutions, physicians can reach their patients at the touch of a button.

They can collect information ahead of the visit and send follow-ups out via text and even alert their whole patient base to important updates by broadcast messages. They can safely and effectively care for patients while helping reduce exposure to staff. Additionally, by leveraging video chat vs. a phone call, they can garner a stronger, more personal connection with patients, ultimately increasing patient engagement and satisfaction.

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Communication Is Key To Patient Experience During and After COVID

By Mike Pietig, vice president of healthcare experience, Avtex.

Mike Pietig

Communication is core to delivering exceptional patient experiences every day. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, and as patients and their providers slowly move forward, communication is as critical as ever.

Now is the time for providers to review how they’ve traditionally communicated with patients and what adjustments can be made to improve communications in the future. The deferring and cancelation of elective services has resulted in millions of lost revenue, putting even tighter constraints on marketing budgets, so a communications review is imperative.

An alarming 81% of consumers are unsatisfied with their healthcare experience, according to recent research by Prophet. When providers enhance communication as part of the patient experience (PX), the outcomes include improved patent retention, new patient acquisition, increased utilization of health system services, and more.

Well-planned and personalized communication ranks highest in importance in the patient experience, by the patients themselves. More effective communication increases patient engagement opportunities, reduces the volume of incoming calls that the organization is receiving (which helps staff focus on the highest priority items and the most critical patients), and lowers the cost to serve patients and maximize resource utilization, which is especially important now, given COVID has put intense strain on providers’ resources and finances.

To survive and thrive in the new norm, it’s time for providers to modernize their communications approach.

Learn the patients’ communication channel of choice.

Historically in healthcare, outreach has been focused on billboards, direct mail and tv/radio ads as the main communication channels in between face-to-face visits. These marketing blasts are nearly impossible to track for return on investment and do nothing for patient retention. Patients live in a digital world and expect digital outreach.

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Deploying Business Continuity Solutions To Create A Better Patient Experience

Female Doctor, Healthcare And MedicineBy Donna Martin, senior vice president, Healthcare Business Development, HGS.

Hospitals and health plans are competing ever more fiercely to gain and retain patient/member relationships. This means changing with the times to bring differentiators that address today’s challenges. In light of COVID-19, for example, hospitals nationwide are deploying bot, AI, IVR, and telemedicine solutions to support the growing need for patient self-guidance.

Tech adoption is fast emerging as a strategy for those in need to access quick, accurate advice and the coronavirus is only accelerating the pace. Before COVID-19 hit California, the all-time daily high for Stanford Children’s Health, as an example, was 35 televisits. But, recently, their clinicians conducted 500 in one day.

As healthcare organizations constantly work to enhance their brand adoption — first impressions are critical. With millions of healthcare calls overwhelming call centers, there’s a need to satisfy customers with a mix of digital technology and traditional service, like for example, nurse support of COVID-19 calls.

Partnering to add critically needed professionals, using an omni-channel nurse triage service, staffed with qualified registered nurses providing front-line support for COVID-19 callers, will enable healthcare providers to focus on critical case requirements. HGS recently launched a full suite of business continuity solutions designed to immediately help clients and employees manage contact center spikes during the COVID-19 crisis.

From virtual chat, to pivoting to other non-voice channels and social media management, healthcare organizations understand the lifecycle importance of these new technologies—from brand awareness to offering patient access options. Think of a patient who simply wants to schedule an appointment, ask a question about a treatment plan, or request a referral. Are they confronted with a myriad of questions, outdated legacy options or poorly automated selection menus? Are they routed endlessly among call service operators and forced to relay the same information over and over again?

Ultimately, patient contact centers should drive accuracy and efficiency with seamless patient engagement , reducing frustration  and time spent by caregivers and patients fishing around for answers to their questions. If airline carriers know their customers’ preferred seating arrangement and hotels know their visitors’ preferred floor and room inclusions, then healthcare provider contact centers should strive to anticipate the needs of their patients in a much more proactive manner.

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