Between 3D printing and robotics, the world of healthcare is rapidly changing due to emerging technologies. Unfortunately, these technologies rarely filter down to the customer experience level, nor to individual clinics. That’s because healthcare rarely thinks of patients as customers.
Yet, no matter how you look at them, the healthcare patient experience is the same. Both customers and patients have choices in where they go for their care. This means that they also have choices about where to put their money. Clinics and hospitals need to begin thinking about solutions to improve patient satisfaction in the healthcare industry to improve loyalty. Luckily, there are many technology solutions that can be implemented to improve the healthcare patient experience, such as telehealth and patient appointment schedulers.
Improving In-Person Experiences
Although waiting in clinics is inevitable, it’s not the most pleasant experience. There is little to do, sick people surrounding you, and it can be frustrating, especially if you already have made an appointment. To make the healthcare patient experience more tolerable, clinics and hospitals have begun leveraging healthcare queue management systems and patient appointment schedulers.
Patient appointment schedulers can be extremely beneficial, as they help to integrate scheduled appointments with walk-in patients. By making appointments through the app, patients will be notified via text of delays or cancellations. This way, they can plan accordingly: if there’s a delay, they can wait at home, run errands, or do something else until their new appointment time. Walk-in patients can be fit in when appointments finish earlier than expected or when an appointment is cancelled. These solutions can help improve patient satisfaction by up to 20%.
Leveraging and Protecting Data
Healthcare has some of the most valuable patient data stored on file, between health information, payment details and insurance data. Leveraging this data to help create more personal experiences can greatly improve patient satisfaction. Having access to a patient’s health history, health risks, preferences and potential issues can help doctors and nurses provide better insights into how to serve the patient and how to fix their health problems. It can also provide a more welcoming environment if the patient feels like their healthcare provider knows them and their health history.
The downside to all this valuable data is that it can be hacked and leaked to third parties. Hospitals and clinics need to ensure that they have cybersecurity measures in place to keep all patient data secure. This will help create trust between patients and their healthcare providers, improving the healthcare patient experience.
Implementing Digital Alternatives
Telehealth has become a popular option for patients, especially elderly patients or those in remote areas. By allowing them to virtually access to healthcare providers, especially specialists, patients have better access to care and a wider array of providers to choose from. Not only will this help to improve the experience, it is also better practice for healthcare. It can help improve public access to health information and can provide alternatives for communicating with practitioners.
Although customer experience may not be top of mind for hospitals or clinics, patient-centered thinking can go a long way. Not only can it help to improve healthcare patient experience and loyalty, it can also help improve healthcare overall.