We recently undertook a global research survey of over 600 decision makers across healthcare and public services – and the results were telling. Almost all (94%) respondents said that it’s important for their organization to ensure a good patient experience, but over half (56%) said they believed patient journey management would be too expensive for them.
At the same time, the majority (90%) believe they could learn a lot about customer experience from other sectors.
This demonstrates a common theme: many healthcare providers understand that the modern world demands high quality experiences, but they see it as an additional extra, rather than a chance to improve quality of service and become more cost-effective.
This is an understandable viewpoint. With everyday skills shortages, high costs, increased demand and time pressures all taking their toll, it can feel impossible to take the time to examine your experience. But once you do so – and take steps to simplify your processes – you’ll find improved efficiency, enhanced quality of care, and shorter waiting times for patients.
The patient’s perspective
In a world where you can order a taxi at the touch of a button, or access all of your favorite artist’s songs with just a few swipes, patients have high expectations. So, if they’re confronted by long queues or a lack of information when they use your services, they’re far more likely to provide negative feedback. Two thirds of our respondents said that patients are complaining more about waiting or queuing than they were a year ago.
This can have a negative impact on the morale of your staff, who usually have as little control over the process as patients do. In turn, the quality of care is affected, as staff strive to meet increasing demands rather than focusing on the needs of patients. It’s time to simplify your processes – increasing satisfaction, wellbeing, positivity and efficiency along the way.
That sounds great – but how?
Optimizing the patient experience from beginning to end can dramatically enhance efficiency. So first of all, implement a digital service that allows patients to book and manage their appointments in advance. This not only provides patients with a simple, time-efficient way to book, it gives them a positive first impression of your services and reduces your reception staff’s workload.
It also paves the way for better resource management – if you can see you’re going to be experiencing high demand over the next few weeks, you can allocate extra resources accordingly.
Once the patient arrives for their appointment, offering a virtual queue service can transform their whole mindset. Instead of sitting in the waiting room for a long period of time, they’ll be free to go and get other things done while they wait. That means less strain on your staff and your facilities, and higher levels of satisfaction among service users.
Meanwhile, your staff will feel more in control too – especially if you provide them with mobile apps that help them to meet patient needs. For example, if care-providers can tap a screen to tell their colleagues in reception when they’re ready for another appointment, rather than having to walk out of their room and tell someone in person, they can keep the flow of patients constant and enhance the experience for everyone involved.
This digitization of your practice will also open the door to business intelligence, data analytics and seamless patient feedback – so you can react accordingly and optimize your services day-in, day-out.
Our Healthcare Global Trends report is packed full of insight that will help you get more value from your resources, without adding to personal workloads – giving you the power dramatically improve your patients’ experiences. Download it for free here.