Healthcare News & Insights

Most patients prioritize digital customer experience in hospitals: Next steps

Providing the best possible care is the ultimate goal of any hospital, and the digital customer experience is a key part of a patient’s visit. Patients are willing to go elsewhere if their needs aren’t being met, so it’s essential to prioritize technological innovation and improve convenience. 

A recent survey from Black Book found that 92% of healthcare consumers said improving customer experience should be a top strategic priority for medical providers over the next year. And tech will play a significant role in consumers’ healthcare choices.

Improved digital options

There are four major technologies consumers are looking for in their healthcare experiences, according to the survey:

  1. digital scheduling
  2. online payment options
  3. portal and engagement capabilities, and
  4. results reporting tools.

In addition, there’s recently been an increased desire for price transparency before services are provided. Being transparent about costs can improve your hospital’s ability to collect payments from patients, since they’ll know what they owe and be able to plan ahead.

Online payments also improve collections rates. If your facility doesn’t offer online payments, or if you want to give patients more choices to settle their balances, you could consider adding additional payment options like Apple Pay.

Patient portals are often the key when expanding tech features such as electronic payments or online scheduling. Talk with your IT department about what’s feasible and if there are other patient-friendly tools that can be added to the portal.

Not just Millennials

These trends are all associated with the rise of Millennials looking for health care that reflects their needs and values, which include an emphasis on digital tools and convenience. Millennials were 44% of the consumers questioned in the Black Book survey.

But patients of any age will appreciate the convenience that comes from tech, and improving the digital experience has the potential to boost customer satisfaction and ensure patients keep coming back to your facility.

If you’re not providing these services, you’ll want to start soon: 90% of those surveyed said they wouldn’t hesitate to leave a healthcare provider that isn’t offering a satisfactory digital experience, and 88% of the respondents younger than 40 said they’ll choose their next provider based on a strong online presence.

“Despite healthcare becoming more digital and available to consumers, provider organizations still have far to go when it comes to embedding new consumer-centric technology,” said Doug Brown, the founder of Black Book.

When deciding what technologies to implement and how to get started, you’ll want to talk directly to both patients and staff to make sure your ideas are achievable and beneficial.

Getting everyone involved in the development process improves their connections to your hospital, making it more likely they’ll stick with you during any tech-related transitions.

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