There was a time when the words patient and consumer meant two different things. Practitioners were not concerned with consumers, just patients, and felt that “consumer” or “customer” cheapened their skills and importance. But more and more patients expect a consumer-centric experience regarding their medical care. Gone are the days of a supply-driven system organized around what physicians do. Instead, they have now transitioned to a patient-centered system, organized around what patients need, prefer, and value.
Research by Accenture showed that 26% of consumers stated they would switch to a new healthcare provider for high-quality digital services, and 50% said that a bad digital experience could ruin the entire experience with a provider. Physicians are now faced with the era of technology and need to understand how it can work for them in improving the patient experience. In addition, Healthcare consumers want convenient and easy access to care and have stated that these are driving factors in their decision-making.
Your online presence, or “digital front door,” is critical to the patient experience. Your website has become your first impression to potential patients and can set the stage for what is to follow.
Your website is what serves as a reflection of your practice’s overall brand. It is there to help patients understand what to expect from your practice, so you must offer clear and consistent information across all website pages. In addition to details on services you offer, credentials of your physicians, and the range of services you offer, utilizing professional, high-resolution images of your office and obtaining testimonials from current patients can help establish trust.
You can also offer paperwork on your website for patients to download, complete, and bring with them when they come, instead of having a clipboard full of papers they need to fill out before the practitioner can see them. Or better yet, allow them to complete it online – no printing or writing required.
Offer Online Scheduling
Another opportunity your website or portal can offer is the ability to schedule an appointment. This gives patients the freedom to book their appointments when it is convenient for them. And in this digital age, more and more people prefer to book online. According to Kyruus, 43% of patients prefer to book their appointments online, and that percentage goes up yearly.
Send Appointment Confirmation and Reminders
In today’s busy world, any help you can offer to keep a patient on schedule, the better. Research has shown that 66% of patients want to receive a reminder for their upcoming appointment via text message. In addition, 59% have stated they would like to be reminded to book an appointment via text messaging.
Sending out a message via email or text three days before the appointment requesting them to confirm can also help reduce the number of no-shows for appointments. Positively impacting your bottom line.
While COVID 19 ushered in the utilization of virtual medical appointments, patients have come to expect this as an option and will continue to after the pandemic ends. In addition, patients don’t always have to come into the office for prescription refills or simple consultations, so leveraging technology can help increase patient satisfaction and enhance patient care.
Establish a Patient Portal
Patient portals are becoming more and more a necessity in the world of maintaining a positive patient experience. Offering patients a safe and secure way to interact with you and their health records digitally, whether it is to review test results, access medical records, request a prescription refill, pay outstanding balances, or receive and return paperwork requested before their arrival, can streamline the administrative work for them as well as for you.
It can also give you and your team the opportunity to focus more on patient care, help optimize office workflow, and provide better patient communication. In addition, giving patients access to their medical information gives them better control and encourages participation in their healthcare journey.
Ask for feedback. Providing patients the opportunity to give feedback makes them feel valued and gives your practice important data. Sending out a post-visit survey via email, or text, shortly after their visit can help your practice compare and analyze patient experiences. The information gathered can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives and spotlight any opportunities for improvement to increase patient-centric care and patient satisfaction.
And make sure you follow up on the feedback you receive, good or bad. This helps foster trust and shows that you care about your patient’s experience.
Promoting Practice Growth
In addition to providing an overall better patient experience, you are also setting the foundation for a powerful growth strategy. If a patient has a good experience with your practice, they will tell, on average, four people about their experience. If a patient has a bad experience, they will tell, on average, ten people about their experience. Making sure your patients have a good experience is worth the effort.
Healthcare is at a crossroads as it struggles with the dual demands of consumerism and traditional medical needs. However, as patients are increasingly seen as customers, medicine is still needed as an essential service. Simply put, patients are looking for good customer service but want and need quality healthcare and patient engagement.
Who is Billed Right?
In 2006, two business partners envisioned creating holistic services that help improve medical billing operations. They started by listening to doctors and building a service model around what doctors need the most. As a result, Billed Right’s Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) model was born. The focus continues to be on solving the problem rather than selling a product. Hence, Billed Right’s advanced RCM model revolves around personalized service in today’s corporate world while still cutting costs and improving patient care and practice revenue. As a strategic partner, we look to streamline your revenue cycle and operational management, thus helping you to grow your healthcare practice.
Contact Billed Right to learn more.