In the final installment of our CEO’s guide to patient engagement, we get a patient’s-eye view of the engagement experience. We look at the growing demand for simple, convenient interactions on every channel—and what these new expectations mean for the VP of Patient Experience.
In previous articles in this “CEO’s guide to patient engagement” series, we explored the patient engagement challenges faced by Patient Access Center Managers and Chief Medical Officers and some of the solutions that can help them overcome those challenges. To wrap up the series, let’s look at patient engagement through the eyes of the patients themselves and the person whose primary goal is to meet their expectations—the VP of Patient Experience.
Patients expect simplicity
We all have incredibly hectic lives and getting everything done can be pretty tough. When you’ve got a million other things to do, it can be difficult for patients to find the time to manage their own wellness.
Scheduling annual exams, booking follow-up appointments, refilling prescriptions, sticking to preventive care plans… the list goes on. Often, the challenge is compounded by poor patient engagement experiences. When patients contact their provider, it can be a time-consuming and tedious process, especially compared to the fast, simple, and convenient experiences they get from other organizations they contact.
Patient engagement expectations aren’t set by healthcare providers. They’re set by retailers, banks, airlines, and other organizations that know they must differentiate on experience to stay competitive. There’s typically a stark difference in experience between, for example, changing a flight booking and rescheduling a medical appointment. What patients want is for providers to make it simpler for them to look after their own and their family’s health.
Ultimately, great experiences are all about simplicity. When engaging with an organization is simple (and effective), it builds trust and strengthens the relationship—which is where the VP of Patient Experience comes in.
Better experiences build stronger relationships
To attract and retain more patients, healthcare organizations must meet growing patient demands for consumer-grade engagement experiences. Commercial success and growth will only come to organizations that can build a reputation as a modern care provider, offering connected, convenient experiences across a multitude of contact channels.
For the VP of Patient Experience, and others in similar roles, it’s vital to have solutions in place that empower patients to engage with the provider in their channel of choice, so it’s simpler for them to manage their health.
By making engagement easy—and by being more proactive and responsive with communications—providers can support patients and their families to participate in care, adhere to treatment plans, and improve outcomes. This helps providers create strong, trusted relationships with patients, their families, and their communities—relationships that increase retention and bolster the organization’s reputation to attract more patients.
How patient engagement solutions help
With the right patient engagement solution, providers can offer patients experiences that are:
From help with account access to assistance setting up a virtual visit, all kinds of routine inquiries can be resolved quickly and easily through automated self-service on phone and digital channels. Automated outreach is also a valuable way to simplify patient engagement, automatically sending them appointment reminders in their channel of choice—and letting them respond in the same channel if they need to reschedule.
It’s essential that patients can access responsive support no matter how they choose to get in touch, whether it’s by phone, SMS, online chat, or a messaging app. AI-powered engagement solutions enable patients to have conversational experiences as they access information and complete common tasks. A single omni-channel solution maintains context as patients move between channels, connecting and unifying all interactions, so patients don’t have to repeat themselves or start over.
By integrating intelligent engagement solutions with EHRs and CRM systems, providers can personalize interactions based on a complete view of patient information, including current context and historical activity. Offering consistent, personalized experiences and conversational interactions helps patients feel known, understood, and valued—it’s a powerful way to build stronger relationships.
Putting patients first
AI-powered patient engagement solutions help people access information and support more easily without putting additional strain on care teams and other staff.
From a commercial point of view, that helps providers maximize schedule utilization and increase adherence to treatment and preventative care plans. But perhaps most importantly, these solutions make it much simpler for all patients to manage their care on their own terms—building trust, strengthening relationships, and improving outcomes.