Drive Patient Loyalty by Digitizing the Patient Experience

The most important issue today in health care is the patient experience

Female doctor is using a digital tablet in her work. The Digital Hospital, with new and modern resources and easy access to the important information about the patients, test results and patient registration

Cool Photos from Depositphotos

By Gary Hamilton, CEO, InteliChart

Accustomed to on-demand conveniences in all aspects of digital life, consumers and providers expect something more from health care. Combining state-of-the-art technology with a physician’s trained hands can transform how health care is delivered, organized, and experienced. An enhanced patient experience will be the key differentiator for providers, driving patient loyalty. 

A smart and connected future

Our world moves at a fast pace. Smart cities, cars, and homes rely on data streams—online algorithms, cell towers, machine learning, and artificial intelligence—to streamline consumers’ lives. So, we should expect similar conveniences from the health system.

Health becomes “smart” when patients, their environment, and accessible technologies become unified, intelligent, and data-driven care systems. When digitization is prioritized in health care, an innovative and connected health system is created. A personalized, convenient care experience becomes possible, and the result is happy, satisfied patients. 

The digital experience 

Advanced technologies and instantaneous access to data have converged with health care, smart devices, and analytics to create a new market for digital health. The global pandemic accelerated the need for a seamless connection between doctors and patients. Even as the pandemic recedes, health care consumers are looking for convenience and value when making health-related choices. The rise of digital health is further reinforced by a recent survey from the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition Telehealth Workgroup. Their study listed that 67% of patients had lower costs with their telehealth visits than in-person visits. In addition, 78% of patients believed their telehealth visit addressed their health concerns.

Patient portals are a highly applicable example of the technological revolution in health care. These tools serve as a central point of access that patients rely on for needed information. Portals provide patients with access to their medical records, lab results, upcoming appointments, and relevant forms. Synchronizing patients with their entire care team creates an accessible, user-friendly process that improves workflows and outcomes. Portals will also result in fewer calls to a clinic, reduced administrative tasks, and streamlined logistics.

Innovative upgrades lead to convenience, quality care, and loyalty

Traditional healthcare settings have been restricted by the rigidity of scheduled, in-person interactions with a patient. Alternatively, technology-backed platforms can connect with individuals in multiple ways, in various locations, and at different times. This streamlined communication provides a unique opportunity to improve health care interactions. Some examples include automated notifications delivering appointment reminders according to the patient’s preference of email, text, or phone call. Confirming appointments reduces no-shows and increases patients’ chances of keeping their referral appointments.

Patients can now experience a highly personalized encounter while still receiving quality care. These features provide an added level of accessibility and ease that will help retain and attract new patients seeking medical services. 

The modern consumer universally seeks value and convenience. Innovative health care organizations are building loyalty through tech advances, focused on the patient experience. Patient engagement platforms provide consumers with a fully transparent view of their health care, driving satisfaction and inevitably fostering loyalty. 

Healthcare’s new, more accessible doorway

Digital front doors elevate the modern approach to health care interactions by offering an integrated experience for both the patient and provider. This technology brings together a comprehensive range of data sources to streamline workflow and tailor individual patient encounters. Online front doors allow health systems and providers to create touchpoints and communication opportunities throughout the patient journey.

Patient engagement platforms activate patients  

From provider search and online scheduling to follow-up visits and 24/7 information access, full-spectrum patient engagement platforms empower patients to become active participants in their own health. One stand-out feature includes patient intake: online systems automatically deliver electronic forms for patients to complete before their visit or a tablet can be conveniently used once in the practice’s waiting room. Scanning forms, clipboards, and filing stacks of paper are a thing of the past. Once collected, the patient’s data is secured and discreetly delivered directly to EHR and PM systems.

A robust platform helps providers and payers adapt to emerging trends while building and maintaining longer-lasting relationships with patients. When implemented effectively, online front doors allow for organized, user-friendly, and convenient patient use. 

Evolving to digital ease and value

An effective patient engagement platform enables providers to bypass once-common barriers between them and their patients. Digital front doors allow for various parties to coordinate efforts on behalf of the patient’s interest, providing quality care with seamless ease and convenience. 

Patients are more involved in their care than ever. With consumerism taking the health care industry by storm, patients are expecting top-of-the-line experiences at every turn. To produce the care patients desire, providers need to turn to digital transformation. By incorporating patient engagement platforms in their practices, providers will create an environment that keeps patients coming back time and again for their care.

Author Bio:

Gary has led InteliChart since its inception in 2010. He brings a wealth of clinical and technical expertise associated with consumer-patient engagement and provider practice operations. Gary drives corporate strategy, product innovation, and direction toward one common objective: to enable providers to engage and empower their patients to attain successful outcomes successfully. Over the years, Gary’s work has led to the evolution InteliChart’s Patient Portal into a full suite of engagement solutions that address automated patient scheduling, appointment reminders, digital intake, telehealth, patient feedback, and population health initiatives. Prior to InteliChart, Gary held leadership positions with Integrated Healthcare Solutions and Atlantic Healthcare Management.