Enhancing Patient Experiences: AI Adoption Strategies for Providers

Updated on March 23, 2024

Advancements in AI have made huge waves, ushering in what some are considering a new “golden age” of technology. However, healthcare may be the most widely debated industry, with all its perils and promises. While the use of AI in healthcare has raised ethical concerns, a recent Weave survey found that consumers and providers believe AI can bring incredible benefits, such as better access, simplified appointment scheduling, and improved communication between patients and staff. 

Currently, one in three consumers are unsatisfied with their healthcare provider’s level of technology and wish providers would modernize. In particular, 70% of Millennials and 64% of Gen Z from the Weave study expect providers to integrate AI into everyday practice workflows. While healthcare has been slower to adopt AI than other industries, nearly 40% of providers agree that AI could improve patient care at their office, and over half expect AI to improve office efficiency. 

We regularly hear doctors, veterinarians, and other practice owners express the need for increased guidance on concrete ways to better integrate AI tools into their SMB practices. Here are three benefits to adopting AI that improve the patient experience and deliver the most value to patients.

Streamline Patient-Provider Communication

Effective communication between healthcare providers and patients fosters trust, collaboration, and increases patient engagement—which has been shown to directly correlate with treatment plan adherence. 

Over time, patient communication preferences have shifted to conveniences like medical questions via text, email, and patient portals. AI tools offer more than just efficient responses. AI-powered virtual assistants also provide patients with access to precise medical information around the clock, empowering informed decision-making. The readily accessible interactions made possible by these communication tools offer continuity of care that is critical to strengthening trust, rapport, and collaboration between patients and providers.

Even patients recognize the more tangible benefits of these tools. Twenty-seven percent of consumers expect that AI will improve communication with their doctors and staff. After all, communication is the cornerstone of high-quality healthcare delivery.

Automate Administrative Work 

New technology can free up providers to focus on the patient-provider relationship. Simple administrative tasks, such as scheduling patient visits and sending appointment reminders, slow down healthcare workers and take their attention away from immediate patient needs. 

With 46% of healthcare workers feeling burned out, it’s imperative to establish processes and adopt tools that alleviate pressure in these high-stress roles. AI-powered tools simplify admin tasks for providers, including appointment scheduling, billing, and record-keeping, leaving more room to meaningfully interact with patients. 

For example, physicians may utilize AI assistants that record doctor-patient conversations, transcribing and summarizing as they go, which saves time on documentation. As doctors are freed from note-taking on their devices, they are able to more fully engage with patients by listening actively. Patients, in turn, will feel that their doctors hear their concerns and walk away from their visits more satisfied with their care. 

Personalized Patient Care 

Of all the ways providers can adopt AI tools, finding ways to cater to the individual needs of each patient is perhaps the most important consideration. Though initial adoption may be daunting, AI has incredible potential to enhance the way practices operate and provide care. 

Implementing new AI technologies thoughtfully can effectively enhance healthcare practices to meet patient expectations, deliver higher-quality care, and improve patient satisfaction. For example, through AI algorithms that analyze patient data and preferences, AI-powered virtual assistants tailor interactions to fit patient’s unique needs, so each patient feels a sense of individualized care and attention.

Providers using AI are already finding more time for engaging, personalized patient interactions and starting to see improved outcomes, and patients and providers alike expect to see continued improvements in healthcare in the years to come.

Embrace Innovation Now

Adopting new AI tools may seem like a hassle, however, putting it off could cost healthcare practices—per Weave’s survey, 36% of consumers say they would switch to another provider who utilizes AI tools. This number rises considerably among younger generations, with about half of millennials and 44% of Gen Z preferring their clinicians to embrace AI. 

Over a third of consumers (37%) believe AI will make healthcare more accessible, while 27% expect AI to enable more accurate diagnoses, and 25% believe AI will allow for more personalized care. Further, over 50% of consumers surveyed by Weave believe AI will have a significant impact on the future of healthcare and anticipate it will drastically change the patient experience as we know it. 

There’s a reason for these high expectations. We’re already starting to see how advancements in AI are creating opportunities for better quality of care through streamlining administrative tasks, simplifying documentation, and improving patient communication and workflow efficiencies. In fact, a recent KLAS report of health executives found that while only 25% of respondents have already implemented generative AI solutions, 58% believe their organization will likely implement or purchase a solution within the next year. 

Healthcare providers need to keep pace with industry trends and embrace innovation in order to meet evolving consumer needs, alleviate burdens and burnout among themselves and their staff, and concentrate on what matters most—providing exceptional care to patients. 

Branden Neish
Branden Neish
Chief Product and Technology Officer at Weave

Branden Neish is chief product and technology officer at Weave.