Highway to Healthcare: 5 Ways You Can Provide a Better Experience to Your Patients
Healthcare is among the noblest of industries. It’s infused with some of the loftiest moral philosophies of the modern era, most notably that of ensuring that people’s physical and emotional needs are met.
The word “business,” on the other hand, usually brings to mind a separate array of concepts, such as profits, sales, bottom lines, and self-interest. On the surface, it seems like business and healthcare are ideologically opposed to each other. However, the primary characteristic of business is simply that it is a way to organize a practice so that it achieves the best possible outcomes for everyone involved.
When considering the importance of healthcare, it’s easy to get caught up in its idealism and neglect its practical aspects. That’s why treating healthcare like a business can be beneficial to everyone involved — doctors, nurses, record-keepers, patients, and medical equipment manufacturers.
The best part, though, is that when the business aspect of healthcare is done well, it won’t actually feel like business at all. Patients will keep visiting a healthcare practitioner if they have a good experience there, and the most surefire way to provide a good experience is to place patient care above everything else.
Fortunately, new technologies are making this easier than ever. Here are five ways that new tech can help improve customer satisfaction in the healthcare industry.
1. Create connected patient journeys.
2. Improve communication between departments.
Of course, patients’ benefits should not be the only ones taken into consideration. The various medical departments that must coordinate to provide quality healthcare could find themselves more productive with an app that instantly and easily keeps all workers in touch with each other. They would also be able to access the same information in the same place, making collaboration simple. Cloud-based, employee-focused apps make this a possibility.
It’s no secret that an improved work environment or method produces happier consumers. Integration across systems guards against losing patient records and allows the process of providing care to run more smoothly. Simply put, improved coordination helps medical professionals perform their duties better. In turn, patients are more likely to want to continue working with their current provider.
3. Be open to patient feedback.
Doctors do tend to know what’s best for their patients, but that’s not to say that patients’ opinions don’t matter. Letting patients know that they can approach their healthcare providers with any questions or concerns about the quality of their care is crucial. The more specific and honest the feedback from the patients, the better medical professionals can improve their work. At the same time, easy communication between doctor and patient helps create relationships built on trust (rather than on dollar signs).
This is another potential function for healthcare apps. However, even beyond custom applications, just keeping patients involved in the processes — like sending out emails to the patients after they’ve kept their appointments — can go a long way toward urging them to offer their perspectives and making them feel valued.
4. Train employees in the best practices for customer support.
Studies are constantly being conducted about the best ways to treat medical patients, not just physically but emotionally and psychologically. Bedside manner remains a vital aspect of overall healthcare. Ensuring that employees are always kept up to date regarding the intricacies of making patients feel supported is a responsibility to be taken seriously. After all, patients need to know they are being heard and respected if they are to forget that healthcare is a business and that they can feel at home.
Once again, healthcare apps that employees can share would be helpful. They can instantly provide updates or small pieces of advice about how medical professionals of any type and level can look after their patients’ emotional needs.
5. Provide apps to help patients connect.
However, that’s actually not the case. In fact, it seems that most people don’t use online tools at all when it comes to keeping track of their history or communicating with professionals. Only 29% of American patients access self-service portals to view their records, while about 28% keep physical copies stored at home. In light of such statistics, it’s not surprising that 60% of Americans say they depend solely on their doctors to maintain their medical records.
That could change soon, though, since 59% state that whether or not a primary doctor offers a patient app would factor into which doctor the patient chooses to see. In other words, the majority of patients would likely choose a doctor with an app over a doctor without one. It won’t take long for medical providers to catch onto this, and the earliest birds will certainly get the most worms.
Bottom line — apps are a way to show patients that their needs and preferences are being taken into consideration, which helps healthcare feel less like a business and more like the idealistic service that most people imagine.