Traditionally, the competition between hospitals and health organizations primarily depended upon quality of service, speciality of the treatment and the price attached to care. But today, there is a wave of change. While high quality health service is still a primary concern, patients walking through the hospital door equally care about the overall experience they encounter throughout their stay at the facility.
From how they are greeted at the helpdesk, to wait time at the OPD, to in-patient care and experience, every nuance matter. In fact, studies have concluded that “patient experience” should be seen as one of the integral pillars of quality in healthcare. Positive patient experience is also linked to improved clinical outcomes. Given the impact of experience in the overall journey of a patient’s association with the hospital, health care providers can no longer dismiss experience as a mere subjective or mood-oriented matter.
Thankfully, technological advancements is enabling health enterprises leverage patient experience in the most comfortable way. The incorporation of Omnichannel CX healthcare solutions and deployment of IoT is putting health care providers in a better position to deliver the best health care facilities to patients and their caregivers.
What is the meaning of Omnichannel Customer Experience Solution?
Mapping patient experience with technology calls for the integration of Omnichannel solution. Today, service providers across domains have no control over the choice of communication channel. Customers can communicate with their service providers via email, text, social media, web and mobile phone. However, most often than not, these channel exist in silos causing operational challenges.
For instance, a patient inquires about the impending radiology report by leaving a query on social media page of the provider instead of using the conventional channel of calling the help desk. In the absence of omnichannel customer experience solution, such queries or request may be ignored. Delayed response or query handling, especially when it comes to health care can certainly dampen “patient experience”.
Omnichannel contact solution offers features that every modern health care facility need. To understand the use case of these features, let's identity the challenges of the current health care delivery system and how omnichannel solution addresses them.
# 1 Improving Patient Outreach
Even after a patient has been discharged, hospitals need to establish some sort of a communication with the patients and their caregivers. Reminder of follow up visit, information on health camps, advise on discharge instruction are some examples of patient outreach. However, increasing sign ups, bookings and appointments can put patient outreach on the back burner.
The advanced reporting capabilities of Omnichannel solution facilitates agents to track and manage workflow in the most efficient manner.
# 2 Quality Customer Service and Support
High call abandon rates or poor agent response time not only impacts customer experience (CX) but also leads to loss of revenue for the hospitals. In the face of rising consumer demand, healthcare providers need to improve the quality of customer service and support. With the help of Omnichannel solution this can be achieved flawlessly. For starters, the platform offers 360 view of the customer. All the past interactions with the hospitals are recorded which assists in ticket prioritizing and case management. Even the agents are in a better position to assist, as the platform offers quick access to the patient history.
# 3 Reducing Patient Wait Time
Reducing outpatient wait time is one of the key precursors to improve patient experience. However, due to lack of proper system, patients have to wait for long hours before a physician attends them. To limit patient wait time by almost 40 %, features like automated IVR that allow patients to make payments before the visit will prove beneficial for hospitals.
In case there is an unprecedented delay, patients can be alerted about the change in appointment via text, email to further reduce wait time. This will also limit the instance of no-show which causes huge loss of time and revenue to the hospitals.
# 4 Query Based Call Routing
Most of the calls received by hospitals are of a critical nature. Callers want a quick resolution to their problems or queries. Whether its a request for ambulance or insurance related details, routing the call to the relevant agent will enable fast query resolution.
# 5 Leveraging Presence on Social Media
While retail and hospitality businesses have cracked the social media game, the health industry is somewhat lagging behind. However, growing customer demand calls for a sound customer engagement strategies across social media platforms to initiate natural conversations and improving customer experience.
Patient Experience: Concluding Thoughts
Besides the Omnichannel way, emerging technology like IoT can also assist health providers to engage with customer better. Use of IoT devices in disease management like diabetes, hypertension is widely being used by hospitals today. Mobile apps to help patients and their attendants navigate their way to the hospital is yet another example of using technology the right way.