Mike Lamb, Clearwave
Soapbox

How Technology is Changing Patient Wants and Needs

By Mike Lamb
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Mike Lamb, Clearwave

Patients are demanding the same type of convenience in healthcare management as they have in the rest of their daily lives.

With the trend of friction-free checkouts and payment collections that are taking over the customer experience, consumer expectations have changed to require easy and efficient check out solutions. New innovations like Amazon Go stores, one-click online checkouts, and Clear in airports are disrupting the way people check-in and out of services. Now that consumers have experienced this convenience, they expect it to be prevalent in everything they do. Healthcare is no exception.

As medical technology continues to improve, patients are beginning to expect more from the healthcare industry. Concepts like kiosk check-in solutions are now more prevalent than ever in doctor’s offices, but many check-in/out processes are still antiquated, and patients are looking for a modernized solution.

Modernized Wants and Needs

The entire digital experience of healthcare is becoming more and more streamlined. The concept of self-service has taken over grocery stores, airports and sporting events. Customers have experienced things like check-in kiosks, online check-in capabilities, online scheduling, and more, limiting the time they have to spend in line and making it easier than ever to check-in. These tools have become a staple of many aspects of our lives, yet they are only recently being adopted by the healthcare field as patients require the same digital convenience in healthcare as they receive throughout the rest of their lives.

With the evolution of check-in technologies, patients are experiencing more convenient services. Through tech and mobile solutions, features such as geofencing or real-time reminders have impacted the services that patients receive. These modernized features have influenced the way patients interact with their healthcare providers, making a more enjoyable and convenient experience. Healthcare practices need to focus on giving patients the digital convenience they want and need, such as:

  • Fast and flexible check-in
  • Real-time eligibility
  • Point of service collections
  • Discrete and custom questionnaires

Now patients are expecting this modern approach to continue to develop and enhance their experiences with new tools and healthcare providers are inclined to adopt these modern expectations.

Empowered Patients

Patients are also becoming more empowered to choose practices that meet their specific needs. A simple online search can show lists of relevant practices and patient reviews through either practice website or Yelp. Additionally, things like physician reviews, online payment methods and digital health records are empowering a patient’s choices and providing convenience with their healthcare that they hadn’t experienced before. Patients can use this information to determine whether or not a specific practice is going to serve their needs and what the benefits, drawbacks and differentiations are for each practice. This information gives patients the power of choice, enabling them to make the best decision for themselves. As a result, practices must differentiate themselves from the competition by providing the best patient experience possible through convenience, efficiency and customer service.

Future of Healthcare Solutions

With continued improvement in technology, the future of healthcare tech will provide an overall modern and empowering experience for patients. Future check-in solutions will include:

  • All-in-one solution that handles the end-to-end medical check-in process
  • Mobile check-in from any device
  • Data that flows with the patient, across doctors, insurance companies and more
  • A check-in experience that is fast and intuitive, saving patients from tedious forms and long lines.

Practices need to adapt to these changing trends in order to give their patients the digital experience, convenience, and empowerment that they want and need. By doing this, practices are able to differentiate from their competitors, reduce costs, increase their revenue, and collect more patient data to help further grow their business. Ultimately, patient satisfaction is a highly achievable goal that can be obtained through a modernized and digital experience that will help a practice get the recognition it deserves from customers.

About The Author

Mike Lamb, Clearwave

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