How Healthcare Providers Are Transforming Patient Experience
Modern customer experiences are becoming more convenient and personalized every day. Healthcare providers and health systems can jump to the top of patient satisfaction by applying lessons learned from the consumer market.
Sitting in the hospital in the standard patient gown, waiting for my doctor to come back, I reached for my phone to research a bit more about what recovery would entail and what exactly I had gotten myself into. I knew exactly where to find a trusted source of information on what my procedure looked like — Zappix had just launched an on-demand patient education and engagement tool the year prior (incidentally, for a different hospital from the one I was sitting waiting in).
Like all patients looking for trusted information, simply searching for information on Google worried me. I don’t know who’s writing that information, or if the information is updated. Instead I conducted my research through an instantly available web-app I knew has content from a trustworthy hospital specifically for patients like me. That sort of easily accessible, mobile-capable interaction is something we have gotten accustomed to in our daily lives as consumers, though not necessarily as patients. Fast, digital interactions are quickly becoming table stakes for patient experiences of all kinds, however.
“Easily accessible, mobile-capable interactions are something we have gotten accustomed to in our daily lives as consumers, though not necessarily as patients. Fast, digital interactions are quickly becoming table stakes for patient experiences of all kinds, however.”
Today’s patients live in a world where technology makes our lives easy and connections to businesses we interact with fast. Amazon lets buyers see when a package is within 10 stops of being delivered. Alexa smart speakers light up different colors to notify owners of new updates. Patients have begun to expect digital convenience as well. The absence of proactive, digital, and easily accessible information from healthcare providers is a gap that needs to be addressed.
Modern patient engagement doesn’t stop when the procedure is completed. Patient engagement post operation is just as important as pre-op interactions. Things like patient registration, completing patient forms, calling back different departments within a healthcare organization, scheduling appointments, and educating patients about where facilities are located and where in a facility to go for their appointment can all create cumbersome experiences that can drive up patient anxiety and push patients away.
The Consumerization of Patient Engagement
Health systems and patient experiences professionals need to focus on aligning their Patient Experience (PX) with the increasing convenience of modern customer experience quickly. Accenture found 44% of patients whose experiences didn’t live up to their expectations “felt stressed/upset,” and 34% said they were “less likely to seek care next time.” If patient experiences don’t meet changing expectations, patient outcomes will be directly impacted. Five key perspectives are playing a critical role in the process of consumerizing patient engagement today:
Patients as Consumers — 33% of patients whose experiences didn’t live up to their expectations said they were “less likely to seek care next time”
Plan the Patient Journey — from initial interaction to final discharge, every step or touchpoint must be analyzed and properly deployed
Prioritize the Right Touchpoints — automation and digitization are critically important, but human empathy and live interactions must remain.
Consider the Phased Approach — by improving patient touchpoints over time, health systems can create fast ROI without disrupting the way staff work throughout the day
Foster Continuous Improvement — digital patient feedback and staff input work together to identify areas better action items for health systems
At the intersection of these four mindsets lies the beginning of premiere patient experiences. These new patient-centric experiences are already bringing a host of benefits to patients and to healthcare providers. You can read more about how the four new mindset changes impact healthcare and the benefits they’re creating in our new industry insight: The Consumerization of Patient Engagement.
Consumerization of Patient Engagement eBook
Bridging the gap between today’s patient engagement systems and the experiences patients expect to have should be a top priority for healthcare leaders. Bringing the mindset of the consumer industry to patient experiences will transform the way patients interact with providers, improve patient satisfaction, and have a positive impact on patient outcomes both today and in the future. Automated solutions relieve pressure on staff as well, freeing them up to focus on caring for patients instead of processing paperwork and making phone calls.
When patients have easy, proactive access to preparation materials, educational videos, and the right forms — delivered digitally so there are no paper handouts to misplace — they will end up being more prepared for procedures, they will miss fewer appointments, and they’ll opt into more services as they continue to trust their providers and enjoy the patient process.