As the healthcare industry continues the shift towards patient-centered care delivery models, providers will need to familiarize themselves with satisfaction measures and learn how they affect their practices. In the broadest sense, patient satisfaction means that patients are happy with the level of healthcare they receive, and their perception of the way in which their healthcare providers interact with them. While that might seem like an obvious statement, there are so many individual touchpoints which can go into the creation of a satisfied patient.
Technology plays a large role in the overall patient experience, as it sets a standard for how accommodating and willing your practice is being to meet a patient’s wants and needs. Today, many patients expect and some times even request greater interactivity and engagement with their healthcare through some means of technology.
An easy-to-use EHR, for example, creates a helpful in-office experience. It allows providers to immediately understand where a patient stands in the care process, ensuring their communication is accurate and focused on the patient’s needs, not a computer screen.
But, the patient experience needs to extend beyond the office. Technology should allow patients to remain connected to their health care plan after their appointment is over. Doing so encourages a greater level of involvement in one’s care and creates a stronger, ongoing doctor-patient relationship.
Patients today are increasingly using their phone to access everything from a parking space to their next shoe purchase. Physician’s Practice highlights the efficiency of utilizing a patient portal, as it “allows the patient to be in control of their healthcare by providing 24/7 access to their personal health information from anywhere with an Internet connection.” You can set web portals so that patients can access their records, schedule their appointments, and pay outstanding bills. You can also include value based content to help educate patients.
There are still patients who prefer phone reminders and to pay their balance by check or bank card. It benefits your practice to provide the most options to keep communication open with patients in the way that THEY are most comfortable. Patients who prefer to be reached via text will more often pay attention to that type of communication. If you send that same patient a snail mail bill, they may not open it. But if you send them a text reminder with a link, they’re more likely to click through and finalize on the spot. The patient is also far more satisfied with the experience when you cater to their needs.
By implementing technology that not only benefits you and your practice but your patients as well, you’ll be able to improve the efficiency of your practice while increasing the levels of involvement and satisfaction among patients. Remaining connected with patients beyond the exam room shows you are dedicated to the health of your patients and encourages them to take in active role in maintaining a healthier life.