Creating a world-class patient experience extends beyond staff interaction. It actually begins long before patients arrive at your office for an appointment.
72% of consumers search for a healthcare provider online. They are looking for key credibility indicators, such as star ratings, reviews, and a modern web presence—before they ever book an appointment at your office.
Patients are also evaluating how simple you make it for them to communicate with their physician, book appointments, and submit necessary paperwork. Patients today want convenience and ease. The practices that evolve to meet these demands are more likely to attract new patients, maintain a steady patient load and keep patients coming back.
In today’s digital age, when you want to take steps to improve patient experience, you need to start online.
How to (quickly) improve patient experience in healthcare: go digital
From rides on Uber to dinner reservations on OpenTable to vacations on Airbnb, your patients have become accustomed to booking all of their services via their mobile devices.
Patients don't want to call your clinic to make appointments —they want to be in control of their schedule. They also crave the ability to book outside of your office hours with just a few taps on their screen.
Make appointment access easy
There are 9 million monthly active users on Solv. That’s 9 million individuals (every month!) who used to call on the phone to make appointments—but don’t anymore.
All of these people quickly adopted technology to streamline and make booking care easier, they switched.
Look at the patient experience statistics: The #1 reason people switch care providers is that they want to access booking appointments from their phone1. 49% of patients are willing to switch to a provider with a better digital experience.
If your office doesn’t allow online booking, you need to ask yourself how many patients you’re missing out on.
Today’s patients are consumers who want the same convenience in their healthcare experience that they get with booking restaurant reservations, vacations, and ridesharing services.
Simplify the patient’s pre-appointment workflow
When they do have time to schedule an appointment with your office, make it a simple, streamlined process to make the biggest impact on their patient experience. You can have patients complete all of their paperwork, including consent forms, during their appointment scheduling workflow. Have them complete this important—albeit cumbersome to the patient—task while they have time, are already interacting with your office (to book their visit), and are excited about their upcoming visit.
Bonus! Paperless registration will also save your staff time. On average, you’ll save 17 hours per month when you switch to paperless registration.
Create open lines of communication
One proven way of enhancing the patient experience—and decreasing no-show appointments—is incorporating text messaging as part of the patient’s interaction with your office.
While phone calls have traditionally been the way providers follow up with patients, text reminders are the way patients have come to expect this type of communication. Text reminders allow patients to easily confirm and cancel appointments without placing this burden solely on your front desk staff—reducing the number of phone calls and improving the level of care and attention your front desk staff can give to patients in-office.
Remember how improving the patient experience starts long before they ever walk into your office? Online reviews matter, and texting patients post-visit to ask for reviews is the best way to get them. 79% of consumers say they trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation.
Use text messaging to ask patients for feedback on their visit, and you’ll have reviews that are ready to be posted to your website and Google Business Listing page.
What is patient experience in healthcare?
In healthcare, patient experience includes the range of interactions a patient has with a healthcare system—from their health plan to interactions with healthcare staff to their ease of accessing care.
For a deeper dive into improving patient experience, check out The Provider’s Guide to Creating a Modern Patient Experience. You’ll discover how to improve patient experience while reducing the burdens of manual workflows.
1Insight gathered from the 2018 consumer healthcare survey, in partnership with the Urgent Care Association.