Leveraging Technology and Best Practices to Attract and Retain Patients
Competition amongst medical care and insurance providers has hit an all-time high thanks in part to health care reform. With added options available to patients, the power has shifted to those seeking medical care, rather than those providing it. This shift has resulted in significantly altered patient expectations; patients once focused solely on obtaining quality medical treatment now expect a more robust and effective experience whenever dealing with a medical provider.
According to a wide range of studies and surveys, today’s patients expect:
- That a medical provider knows them and their history
- Their problems to be listened to and heard
- A provider to be available at regular hours, through multiple channels
- The ability to conduct limited business and find information without assistance
- To be given clear advice regarding care options
- To be treated by staff who show care/concern/compassion and
- To be treated by staff who are professional in their work
Meeting these expectations requires a commitment to creating and maintaining effective patient experience. Without such a commitment, the modern health care provider faces an uphill battle to attract and retain patients.
The Added Challenges of Providing Quality Experience in the HealthCare Field
While any organization that offers a service or product faces significant challenges in attracting and retaining customers, medical providers must contend with additional pressures, including:
- Confidentiality concerns: Medical providers must maintain strict confidentiality and security policies whenever interacting with patients. Streamlining the patient experience while under pressure to protect patient information can be difficult.
- Regulations: Few industries face the same regulatory pressures as the medical field. From The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, medical providers must adhere to multiple regulations. Any and all patient experience technology or strategy must also adhere to these regulations.
- Diverse patient requirements: The wide range of needs commonly addressed by medical care providers makes it difficult to predict a patient’s needs and adds challenge to managing patient records and treatment plans.
Overcoming these challenges can be difficult, but a comprehensive approach can overcome these hurdles and create an appealing experience for each and every patient you serve. In the next entry in our Patient Experience basics blog series, we’ll examine the best ways to build a comprehensive approach to patient experience.
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