The healthcare industry has started transitioning from its traditional delivery model to patient-oriented care. Before, the healthcare model mostly involves face-to-face meetings between the patient and the medical professional. It’s common for patients to wait in the clinic or hospital lobby for a couple of hours while waiting for the physician to see them.
This pay-for-service care model doesn’t prioritize patients’ overall well-being and puts the responsibility of recovery and wellness on their shoulders.
Today, the industry has realized the value of a patient-centric healthcare approach. In this care model, an individual’s health needs and desired health outcomes become the driving force behind all the services they receive. Healthcare providers not only treat people from a clinical perspective, but also from a mental, social, emotional, and financial standpoint.
As such, a patient-oriented care model involves the person’s entire interaction with the healthcare provider. This is called the “patient experience.”
Patient experience spans from the moment they discover your healthcare firm, to receiving their treatment or service until they finally exit the doors of your clinic or hospital. It involves every process and task associated with healthcare delivery, including waiting time, scheduling appointments, getting prescriptions, communicating with nurses and physicians, and receiving their lab and test results.
A positive patient experience helps improve clinical outcomes. A Deloitte Center for Health Solutions study discovered that hospitals with higher experience ratings have better scores for the process of care quality measures and some clinical outcomes.
How can you improve your patient experience?
Luckily, technological advancements have enabled hospitals and private practices to improve their processes, resulting in higher quality care and a better patient experience.
1. Digitized Appointment Scheduling Systems
These applications make it easy and convenient for patients to schedule appointments. They no longer have to call and wait for a representative to attend to their concern. They only have to press a few buttons to set an appointment.
Online appointment scheduling can take multiple forms. Some organizations simply include a form and scheduler on their website, which is ideal for first-time patients.
Other hospitals use a separate software. These programs make appointment scheduling easy for both the patient and the physician. The patient receives reminders of their appointment, reducing no-shows and late arrivals, and they can also easily cancel their session via phone, email, and text, immediately informing the doctor of the change in their schedule.
Automating these administrative chores not only improves your patient experience, it also frees up your staff for other, more important tasks.
2. Patient Portals
Patient portals are an all-in-one online channel that allows patients to perform healthcare-related tasks remotely. This technology digitizes plenty of healthcare functions, making it easy for patients to receive the service they want.
Patient portals also have an appointment scheduling feature. On top of that, patients can renew their prescriptions, pay their bills, access their medical history, and review their treatment plan online.
Patients can also message their physicians directly through the patient portal. They can ask minor medical questions and consult without the hassle of visiting the clinic.
These secure direct messages, along with the other features of patient portals, support patient self-management. They’re able to stay on track on their treatment plan and recovery journey, boosting patient outcomes.
Also, digitizing functions such as appointment requests, bills payment, and prescription renewals reduce wait times, which is the bane of many patients. Shorter patient wait times result in higher satisfaction rates, improving your overall service.
3. ePrescribing Software
E-prescription software offers additional features apart from online prescription renewal. You can link the app with your patient’s preferred pharmacies. They can quickly search pharmacies and check if their medication is in stock.
Patients can also view more affordable alternatives for their medication. High prescription costs threaten medication adherence, interfering with the recovery and treatment of patients. Giving them prescription options helps their journey toward better health.
E-prescription software also provides benefits for physicians. You can review complete lists of allergies and current medications for each patient. You’ll also see records of previous prescriptions that your patient stopped taking and why they were discontinued.
4. Patient Kiosk
The admission process in hospitals usually involves desk-to-desk hand-offs. This system prolongs the delivery of necessary treatments and medical services, affecting patient outcomes and your operational efficiency.
Self-service kiosks simplify the admission process and reduce patient waiting times. Instead of waiting for a hospital staff to attend to them, patients can check themselves in via the kiosk. They can quickly fill out intake or consent forms using an iPad places in the hospital or clinic.
A smooth admission process also prevents your waiting rooms from getting crowding, further reducing waiting times.
Plus, by digitizing administrative tasks, patient kiosks allow your staff to focus on their more important duties. Kiosks also make patient data management easier, since all the information is automatically stored in your network.
Patient experience consists of all the aspects that comprise one’s entire encounter with a healthcare provider. Although details such as appointment scheduling and waiting times seem inconsequential to their health, these still significantly affect the quality of your care.
Ultimately, the purpose of improving your patient experience is to anticipate their every need from their admission until they exit the hospital doors – providing a comprehensive, better quality patient care.