Top 5 Self-Service Use Cases in Healthcare
Today’s patients are bringing expectations from the consumer market into their healthcare interactions. From the convenience of on-demand rideshare apps to fast and simple membership sign ups and proactive notifications telling us when our recent shipment is 10 stops away, modern patient experience has an array of customer experiences it’s now directly being compared to.
“More than one third of patients whose experiences didn’t live up to their expectations said they were less likely to seek care next time.”
When hospitals and healthcare providers don’t meet these new expectations, patient outcomes and patient retention are directly impacted. According to Accenture, 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.” There is a need for the healthcare industry to step into the modern self-service landscape, and five key use cases are the perfect next steps.
1. Enhancing Patient Engagement
According to Rectangle Health, 76% of patients want to manage their healthcare digitally. Patients want to engage through digital channels, and the modern wave of self-service solutions are ready to meet their needs. Whether it’s patients accessing their EMR files, connecting to healthcare outreach like newsletters and hospital updates, or other patient interactions, self-service solutions deliver the fast, easy to access interactions that keep patients connected and enhance engagement with material.
There are many new advancements in patient experiences, and with the increasing drive for at-home care, the way patients interact with healthcare providers is sure to keep changing. As healthcare providers begin meeting new patient expectations, everyone benefits. To keep up with customer experiences and maintain patient loyalty, health systems should consider the “Consumerization of Patient Engagement” mindset — treating patients as consumers to match their customer experience expectations.
2. Improving the Patient Intake Processes
Every day thousands of patients walk into appointments and meetings with healthcare providers. New patients fill out pages of paperwork, returning patients confirm billing and insurance details, and the entire process takes much longer than it should. Modern self-service can streamline this process and even have patients complete these tedious tasks before they arrive at an appointment or procedure.
Digital self-service forms sent to patients as soon as they book an appointment, sent along with appointment reminders a day or two before, or even the day of a procedure cut out the middleman and allow patients to submit all information health systems need directly to EMR databases. Digital patient forms don’t have to be limited to basic information either. Symptom assessments can be deployed to prepare staff for patient interactions and direct patients to information that may benefit them until the day of their appointment arrives. On top of the speed, efficiency, and patient satisfaction self-service forms provide, digital forms accessed on patients’ personal devices remove the risk of germs spreading around waiting rooms via clipboards and pens passed from one person to another.
3. Unlocking Dynamic Appointment Confirmation
Most healthcare providers already deploy basic text message appointment reminders, but modern self-service brings things one step farther. Self-service solutions integrated with scheduling systems and available staff empower patients to actively confirm appointment times, reschedule appointments as needed, and cancel appointments ahead of time — preventing appointment no-shows and letting health systems reschedule that slot for another patient.
Additionally, staff benefit as well since automating the scheduling process cuts down on the need for healthcare staff to attend to these trivial tasks and instead focus on more meaningful work. By automating the entire process of booking, confirming, canceling, and rescheduling appointments, healthcare practices will see major benefits.
4. Enriching Patient Education
Proper understanding can greatly improve patient outcomes and even boost patient retention as patients grow their trust in a healthcare provider. Illness and treatment information, helpful videos, and visual diagrams delivered through digital self-service solutions help patients understand their personal situations and empower them with the knowledge to overcome what ills them.
A meta-analysis of studies published in Patient Education and Counseling Vol. 105 found that 83% of studies reported a significant increase in patient knowledge thanks to digital patient education. 73% of those studies reported significant emotional benefits from digital patient education as well. By deploying more powerful, engaging digital patient education solutions, healthcare systems can unlock better patient outcomes and improve patient satisfaction.
5. Increasing Patient Referral Conversions
These powerful use cases for today’s self-service solutions combine to unlock increased referral conversions. Automated patient communication can deliver digital self-service solutions directly to patients with referrals who haven’t yet booked an appointment. Those self-service solutions can convey the importance of procedures, educate with digital and visual content, and empower patients to easily book appointments right from their devices.
Patients can read, complete, and sign registration forms with pre-populated personalization pulled from EMR like date of birth, address, phone number or insurance information to convert more referrals and remove barriers to entry. With barriers to conversions removed and proactive engagement educating referred patients and encouraging them to book appointments, hospitals and health systems can keep schedules booked and make the healthcare process easier and more enjoyable for patients.
“Modern healthcare providers are connecting directly to patients through whatever digital devices they use to create more personalized, more responsive communication and meet the patient experience expectations created by modern customer experiences.”
Scheduling appointments, properly preparing patients for procedures, and all patient engagement tasks are made easy, visual, and digital with HIPAA-compliant digital self-service solutions. Modern healthcare providers are connecting directly to patients through whatever digital devices they use to create more personalized, more responsive communication and meet the patient experience expectations created by modern customer experiences. It’s no wonder that Talkdesk found 71% of Patient Experience professionals say digital transformation in their contact center is a top priority — it’s the key to unlocking the best patient interactions in the modern and ever-changing healthcare landscape.