7 Things You Can Implement in Your Practice to Modernize the Patient Experience
The prevailing landscape of patient experience is evolving rapidly, and that's good news. The healthcare industry has been long overdue for change. In the last decade or so, it has seen an acceleration in focus and significant technological advancements geared towards not only strengthening and elevating the patient experience but also modernizing it.
In this post, we'll outline some of the things you can implement in your medical practice to offer your patients a modern experience. But first, the definition of patient experience.
What is the patient experience?
Patient experience entails the range of interactions that patients engage in with the healthcare system, including their care from health plans, physician practices, nurses, doctors, hospital staff, and other healthcare facilities. It includes different facets of healthcare delivery that patients value when they are either seeking or receiving medical care, such as easily accessing information, timely appointments, and excellent communication with their healthcare providers.
Ways of modernizing the patient experience
Here are some of the ways to modernize and improve the experience that patients get:
1. Designing a premium website
How well-designed your website is, determines the experience patients get when they visit it. You need to build a modern website that is search engine optimized and is designed to convert visitors into your patients. A clunky, outdated website with numerous text won't convince your prospects to book appointments. Instead, your website should be responsive such that it is easily accessible from different devices, including tablets, mobile phones, and desktops.
A well-designed healthcare practice website should also have individual service pages for each specialty that your practice offers. It should provide detailed information about your services such that it not only educates prospective patients but also increases the chances of your content ranking high on search engines. Additionally, it should have a patient review section. After all, research indicates that 90% of patients use online reviews to evaluate physicians.
DearDoc can help you build a premium website. We are experts at designing websites that portray what your brand is all about while also meeting your customers' expectations. Suppose you have a website that isn't performing to your expectations; we can undertake a detailed audit and work with you to enhance its design, architecture, and responsiveness.
2. Adopt an online scheduling system
A proper online scheduling system is a must-have for any modern healthcare provider. Your patients want to book their appointments simply and intuitively—and an online scheduling system can help them achieve that feat. A recent study found that 80% of patients have a preference for physicians who offer online scheduling. As such, if your practice isn't offering online scheduling, you are losing a massive client base.
Another reason that makes online scheduling appealing is that it is available 24/7, therefore, giving patients the power to schedule appointments whenever they want from wherever they are.
3. Offer bilingual services
We live in a multicultural community such that it's not a guarantee that every patient who visits your practice will be English-speaking. With that in mind, you need to design your website such that it offers patients different language options they can use to navigate it. You can also ensure that your customer service team is adept at different languages so that they can attend to non-English speakers effectively. Providing bilingual services directly benefits your patients and makes your business appealing to them.
4. Adopt using AI Smartchat
The best moment to assist a potential patient visiting your website is when they are actively browsing online looking for the right healthcare provider. Keep in mind that the average time spent by a patient on a website before jumping to the next medical practice's website is 15 seconds—a very short window.
However, with DearDoc's AI Smartchat, which is designed for customer service, you can capture patient information such as their name, email, and phone number. Using this information, you can do a follow-up on the potential patient to find out the service they need and how best you can serve them.
5. Adopt telehealth
Telehealth has revolutionized healthcare. It has made it possible for patients to consult a physician or specialist via an online video-conferencing platform instead of in-person visits. Patients can also send and receive messages from their physicians via secure messaging, email, or file exchange. As such, it enables patients to receive medical care from any location. Telehealth is especially beneficial to patients who reside in remote locations and those who have movement problems.
6. Send appointment reminders
It is not unheard of for doctor appointments to slip patients' minds. No-shows cost your practice time and money. A recent report shows that the healthcare industry loses $150 billion annually due to no-shows. Automatic appointment reminders help jog the memories of patients so that they don't forget their appointments.
These reminders are also beneficial to your practice. They limit costly, frustrating no-shows while also decreasing the number of phone calls your front office staff makes to patients. Automatic appointment reminders can be sent via email or SMS/text leading up to the scheduled appointment date.
7. Conduct a follow-up of your appointments
To keep on enhancing your patient experience, you should ask for feedback from your patients shortly after the completion of their appointment. During this time, the experience is still fresh in their minds and they can provide you with finer details on how their experience was. Requesting manually for feedback can be time-consuming. The right software solution can automate the process.
Automated feedback requests are typically sent via email or SMS/text message. Your front office staff can see when feedback is sent and alert you so that you can take corrective action in case there's a negative review.
As we've seen above, many factors go into modernizing the patient experience. That said, taking the necessary measures to modernize your patient experience will help increase your customer satisfaction, which will translate to improved customer retention, glowing online reviews, and improvement in the overall profitability of your medical practice.
Do you need help with the modernization of the patient experience at your practice? We offer a wide range of solutions that can help modernize your practice's patient experience. Reach out to learn more about them.