How Every Practice can Meet Patient Demands for Digital Convenience
In a world with Amazon Prime and Uber, everything revolves around customer convenience—and that's a big deal for physicians trying to build a successful practice. Global consumer brands are setting the expectations that even the smallest healthcare organizations must meet. We're all accustomed to managing almost every part of our lives using our phone or laptop. We buy groceries and bank online. We request a ride or make a dinner reservation with a phone app. With smart speakers, songs and even jokes are just a spoken word away. But too often, people find that contacting their physician's office takes them back to the old days of phone calls and hold music. And they expect better.
In a recent survey, 61% of respondents said they'd like healthcare to mimic the experience provided by a customer service digital app.[i] Even more (79%) said they want the ability to use technology to manage their healthcare experience. There's clearly a demand for modernization, and the practices that can meet that demand will thrive in the years ahead. Without the ability to offer convenient service, practices risk falling behind in an increasingly competitive healthcare market, especially as the rise of telehealth gives patients more options about where they go for care. Plus, if patients can't interact with their providers in the ways they prefer, there's a risk that they won't engage fully with their care, increasing the likelihood of adverse outcomes.
By creating a "digital front door" for your practice a means of “greeting” patients and quickly directing them to what they need you can attract and retain more patients, reduce the workload for your staff, and encourage patients to be accountable for their care. But taking on digital transformation by implementing single point solutions that solve for, say, online appointment scheduling or patient portal password resets isn't enough. To deliver its full value, a patient engagement strategy must meet the patient where they are on the phone, online, or over SMS and be infused with intelligence.
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