Sunday, November 25, 2012

How are you using technology to improve the patient experience?

The other day, I received a call from my PBM. Not being home, they left a message and return number. Now this is where it gets interesting. When I called the number I just didn't reach an individual in a call center, the line was answered with thank you Michael for calling us back. Really.

I called a return number expecting to be told all lines are busy and please wait for the next available person, or if you know the persons extension lease dial it now, right to a personalized greeting. Pretty slick and the start of a great patient experience. For me, that was an excellent example of how technology deployed and utilized leads to a better individualized patient experience. And this PBM has millions of members.

How are you keeping up with technological advances to allow you to customize and improve the patient experience?

Technology when applied creatively can be used to customize and improve the experience of an individual even when those patients number in the millions. When you look at your specialty pharmacy, hospital and nursing home or any other healthcare setting, which doesn't necessarily have millions of patients, why can't you do this?

The majority of patent experience improvement efforts are focused internally looking at the same systems, processes and outcomes time and again. Usually leading to incremental improvement, maybe a little less paper and a slight improvement in waiting times. But if you extend your patient experience improvement efforts to include technology focused solutions for improvements that can be customized for a more personalized experience, you may find that your efforts leap forward and patient's have the start of a better experience.

Personalize the kiosk messaging after an individual signs in.

Leaving a message for a return call, using similar technology for the return call and personalize the experience ala the PBM.

The physician is delayed or the surgery is late etc, send a text with the new approximate new appointment or test start time.

Using technology to improve the patient experience means being creative and adaptable. It also means changing the way you do business, your systems and processes.

These are just some examples. The patient experience just doesn't start when they walk into facility. It starts at first contact regardless of the where or how, be it you or the individual reaching out. Start using technology to your advantage.

The networked, technologically savvy patient has arrived and expects the same of you for a better experience.

Michael Krivich is an internationally followed healthcare marketing blogger with over 5,000 monthly pages views in over 52 countries worldwide on Healthcare Marketing Matters. He is founder of the michael J group, a healthcare marketing consultancy dedicated to creating value through strategic marketing for hospitals and health system regardless of payment mechanism, either fee-for-service or value-based to increase market-share, revenue , brand and demonstrate actual return on marketing investment. Michael is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives and a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association. Like us on facebook at the michael J group.

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