Digital HealthMedical

Rx for CX: Three Ways Traditional Healthcare Organizations Can Boost the Customer Experience and Provide Next-Level Care

By Dave DeLellis, GM, Healthcare at ibex

Traditionally, the healthcare industry has embraced change in fits and starts. But today, the industry is undergoing seismic upheaval at unprecedented speed and scale. According to the Accenture Digital Health Technology Vision 2021 survey, 81% of healthcare executives say the pace of digital transformation is accelerating and 93% report that they are innovating with a greater sense of urgency than ever before.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced healthcare to reinvent itself and offer more and better digital solutions. A big part of this innovation is focused on the patient experience. The best healthcare providers are now reshaping their entire operations around the patient experience, ensuring that patients get the best care at the best price. The reality is that consumers want more accessible and more personalized healthcare—and they are less willing to tolerate inconveniences like long wait times and lack of transparency.

A big part of this transformation is the consumerization of healthcare, which is quickly gaining speed, especially as nontraditional brands like Amazon, Walmart and Apple continue to encroach on the space and elevate patient demand for ever more engaging experiences.

Embracing new technologies that enable CX agents to effectively support patient interactions can further enhance the customer experience.

Here are three ways that traditional healthcare organizations can make the customer experience an increasingly strategic part of operating their business and providing next-level care.

1: Meet patients where they are

How do patients want to interact with their healthcare provider? Do they want to do it digitally? Do they want to do it via chat? Do they want to do it online? Do they want to do it on the phone? Do they want to get a text message reminder instead of a phone call? The answer, increasingly, is all of the above.

All patients are different, and all have their unique preferences. That’s why healthcare providers need to embrace an omnichannel mindset and approach when interacting with patients. They also need to consider high-value digital services like online self-scheduling tools that make it easier for patients to book their appointments, as well as interactive solutions that guide patients to the fitting appointment with the right provider based on their individual needs.

By designing a digital experience that works for everyone, healthcare providers can make it easier for patients to stay connected and ultimately deliver a higher level of care.

2: Support interoperability in healthcare

Interoperability is the ability of multiple systems to exchange health data seamlessly. Interoperability is increasingly seen as a critical part of the movement toward value-based care, which can lower costs, enhance treatments, improve outcomes and deliver health equity.

An example of interoperability, or lack thereof, is a patient on a ski vacation who takes a nasty fall and is admitted to the hospital. Because data is not easily portable, that patient might have great difficulty providing the details of her medical history, which could ultimately hinder the way the physician in charge delivers care.

Today, a patient’s medical information exists in too many silos and lacks portability. This makes it difficult for the patient and/or healthcare organizations to share data in a coordinated manner and provide timely and optimized care.

The good news is that customer experience (CX) technologies and services can play a significant part in integrating this data and enabling patients to easily access it and share it with whom they want when they want—which results in not only a better experience but better care.

3: Elevate the patient experience

A strong trend in healthcare is the push toward people spending less time in the hospital and more time being treated at home. Remote health-monitoring tools are having a significant impact in this area. Wearable devices today are ever smaller and ever more powerful, with the ability to collect massive amounts of health data. They can measure and monitor almost anything and be used in nearly any therapeutic area.

Bringing quality healthcare into the home has accelerated the reliance on consumer-friendly technology that can bring remote patient monitoring and patient engagement together in a unified solution. From a customer experience perspective, imagine an at-home patient wearing a heart rate monitoring device. A remote CX agent could always be on hand watching their vital signs and placing a phone call to the patient or their physician if the agent notices anything amiss. These well-trained agents could also use text or chat to communicate with patients and assist with diagnostic support.

Embracing new technologies that enable CX agents to effectively support patient interactions can further enhance the customer experience.

Final takeaway

The healthcare field is now undergoing a digital revolution. But we are still at the beginning. Moving forward, CX technologies and services will play an increasingly important role in cutting costs and improving access. They will radically redefine the way healthcare is delivered in the future for the benefit of providers and patients alike.