How Can Healthcare Enhance Customer Experience?

June 12, 2019 Jeanette Stern

Can healthcare companies do anything to improve our healthcare system? What can be done to improve the healthcare system? You may be able to create a list of many things you believe can be done to improve the healthcare system, and you are not alone because there are many doctors and healthcare providers who are ready for improvement.

One of the first things that patients and doctors want to see improved is the streamlining of the customer experience, especially when it comes to looking for health insurance and choosing health insurance. Many people will agree that the experience they have with a company with heavily influence their current and future purchasing decisions.

When it comes to healthcare, experience weighs heavily on a consumer's choice. Unlike many other industries, consumers do not have as much mobility in healthcare. It can be very easy to go to another clothing store if you were not happy with the experience or products available at the first clothing store, but it is not so simple to change healthcare providers or health insurance. 

The healthcare industry and systems are very complex, and this can significantly hinder a provider's ability to offer a great customer experience every time. However, this does not mean healthcare providers cannot serve customers better across the entire continuum of care: from selecting the right insurance, to receiving treatment and care from a healthcare provider, and eventually to paying for the care and treatment that was received.

Healthcare companies have the ability to design their patient experiences in the same manner that companies in other industries design their customer experiences, but they are not all doing so. There are many things healthcare companies can do to improve the overall healthcare customer experience, including the following:

Empowering Patients

Patients should be equipped with the resources and tools they need to become active participants in their health and the care they receive. It should not be difficult for patients to obtain access to their health information. Once patients receive the information they need, they will be able to make their own decision about what they want to do with that information.

Patients want to have complete and unrestricted access to their information, including their medical records and the data that is obtained from their medical devices. We do understand that there are some healthcare providers and clinicians who may not agree that patients should have more access to their information because they believe that patients may not make the best decisions. 

However, if we talk about how patients should be more active, educated, aware, and empowered, why are there so many restrictions and barriers being placed in their way? Healthcare providers should also do more to make sure the data they receive is usable. Healthcare providers are able to translate medical terms in a way that is more understandable to their patients, and patients want their health insurance providers to do the same.

Use Technology To Your Advantage

Improving the overall healthcare experience expands to any type of communication or interaction that a patient has with a healthcare company. Part of the answer may be as easy as providing patients with an easier way to make appointments, regardless of what type of device they are using. Patients should also be offered more than one way to obtain their health information.

Not everyone consumes their healthcare data in the same way. If you want to be seen as consumer-friendly, consumers will need to have several ways to consume their healthcare information, and this can include mobile applications that can offer suggestions on how patient health can be improved. 

On the other hand, it is important that healthcare providers do not forget about how important human connections and interactions are. Healthcare companies should provide the right tools and resources and ensure their employees are using those resources to improve the customer experience. Unfortunately, many consumers believe that some organizations and companies are out of touch when it comes to the human element of customer experience.

Relationships Will Always Be Essential

Even a short customer interaction can be the key to a long-lasting and strong relationship. Customer interactions should not just be seen as something that can lead to a transaction, but the interaction should be viewed as a way to serve consumers. When patients transition from one interaction to the next, the interaction should be as smooth as possible. Digitizing health data can make it easier to share relevant health information.

We know that many healthcare organizations are still using paper forms instead of using information from electronic health records systems or encouraging patients to use online forms. However, change can occur quickly when everyone is on board with digitizing health data and sharing the data digitally. 

Many healthcare consumers complain about the lack of communication or poor communication. When the ability to communicate with patients is improved, there will be a pathway to better consumer experiences. 

The barriers that exist between healthcare and patients need to be eliminated so consumers can participate in their own care. Healthcare companies and healthcare providers can certainly earn the same level of trust and loyalty that some of our favorite companies in different industries have earned.

For more information on how healthcare can enhance and improve the customer experience, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

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