Patient needs are changing, and healthcare practices are scrambling to meet evolving expectations. Although the gap is narrowing between what providers deliver and what patients want and expect in a healthcare experience, there’s still room for improvement.
Failing to deliver a solid patient experience in healthcare has consequences—especially amid ever-increasing competition from retail health clinics. Now that consumers have so many choices readily available to them, they’re more likely to jump ship for another practice if they aren’t satisfied. In fact, 82 percent of patients said they would switch providers as a result of a negative care experience.
With all that said, your healthcare practice can still meet (and even exceed) consumer expectations with the right patient engagement strategy and technology. Although retail clinics may have some advantages, you’re uniquely positioned to offer patients what they really want—especially with the right engagement solution to support your efforts.
Learn five things patients expect—but aren’t getting—from the healthcare experience and how your practice can leverage patient engagement technology to rise to the occasion.
5 Things Patients Expect from Their Healthcare Experience
According to a recent survey, improving the patient experience is a top priority for 93 percent of providers. If the same can be said for your practice, elevating the patient experience starts with honing in on what consumers really want.
The digital experience you offer to your patients is just as important as the in-office experience. As consumers become increasingly familiar with the seamless digital experiences offered by companies like Amazon, their demands continue to evolve. They expect 24/7 access to a patient portal, with a great user experience (UX) that allows them to:
- Self-schedule their appointments
- View their health records and lab results
- Request prescription refills
- Pay bills online with flexible financial options
Along with convenience, consumers are looking for transparency when it comes to the care they receive and how much it costs—particularly now that they are paying higher out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Patients want to know what’s covered upfront to help avoid surprise medical bills down the road. Additionally, they seek flexibility to meet their financial obligations over time with various payment plan options.
Solid communication is another must-have for healthcare consumers. Patients want their providers to be readily accessible when they have questions. Secure, two-way messaging via a patient portal offers patients an easy way to access their providers. This can help you stay connected to patients between office visits and build strong, lasting patient-provider relationships that keep them coming back. Automated appointment reminders and patient satisfaction surveys are also great ways to stay in touch between office visits.
There has been a fundamental shift in how involved patients want to be in their own healthcare. Today’s consumers are empowered to be more actively involved in their care decisions and to engage in shared decision-making with providers. Previously, patients used to simply heed their provider’s advice, but today they have more options readily available to them—and they’re not afraid to explore those options if a healthcare practice delivers a less-than-stellar patient experience.
Patient data is being used more and more to guide care decisions. That’s why data security has emerged as such a hot-button issue. Now that patients’ healthcare records are online, robust security protocols are essential to protect against potential threats and reduce the risk of a cyberattack. Protecting private health data is necessary for practices in order to meet patient expectations and comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulatory requirements.
Elevating the Patient Experience with Engagement Technology
The patient experience in healthcare matters now more than ever before—but you need the right technology to help you meet evolving consumer expectations. Patient engagement technology helps practices give patients the experience they seek without requiring the addition of full-time staff members. With the right patient engagement tools at your disposal, you can offer each patient a pleasant and memorable care experience by delivering what they want: healthcare engagement on their own terms.