Tactics for the Successful Adoption of Digital Healthcare Communications

by | Aug 23, 2021

Research by Keypoint Intelligence reveals which tactics have successfully promoted adoption of digital healthcare communications

Healthcare companies are known for generating a lot of transactional communication, across print and electronic channels. Research done by Keypoint Intelligence in 2021 found that healthcare companies send approximately one third of transactional communication (i.e. bills, statements and other critical documents) by ‘print/mail only’ (34%), just over a third by ‘electronic only’ (35%), and the remaining 31% by both print and electronic channels (these recipients are referred to as ‘double dippers’).

When asked if they are currently meeting their paperless adoption targets.

46% healthcare respondents said they are

24% said they are exceeding their targets

24% said they are almost meeting their targets

The research by Keypoint Intelligence also indicated which tactics healthcare providers feel have been most successful at promoting paperless adoption of digital healthcare communications. The results are:

  • Hospital respondents (the largest group in the healthcare segment) mostly cited having an effective multichannel marketing strategy as key to successful adoption, while making it easy for patients to switch was a close second.
  • For doctor’s office or outpatient clinic respondents, making it easy for patients to switch was first, while providing a better patient experience and setting realistic goals tied for second.
  • All the revenue cycle management respondents said a better patient experience was a key reason for successful adoption, but also mentioned the need to focus on educating patients on the benefits of paperless adoption.

Having an effective multichannel marketing strategy (#1 tactic for hospitals)

Patients want the ability to select the channel they would prefer their healthcare provider to use, when communicating with them. A single channel strategy assumes all patients are alike, which is not the case.

A multichannel strategy meets the patient where they prefer to operate, providing a higher likelihood that they will open and consume the information received. Interestingly, Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) respondents did not see a multichannel strategy as a tactic for successful digital adoption, meaning this is potentially an untapped opportunity for RCMs to encourage patients to adopt digital healthcare communications.

Making it easy for patients to switch (#1 tactic for doctor’s offices or outpatient clinics)

Switching to digital healthcare communications needs to be an easy, straightforward process, without fuss, friction or too much paperwork. According to Keypoint Intelligence, this tactic has been successful in meeting paperless adoption targets for both hospitals and doctor’s offices or outpatient clinics.

Interestingly, making the decision to switch to digital healthcare communications, an easy one, should not mean imposing penalties on those that prefer receiving a paper document in the mail. For example, charging a fee to receive communications by mail is not a success criterion to getting customers to switch. As a tactic, charging a fee for print documents scored low on the list for all healthcare respondents.

Offering a better patient experience on digital (#1 tactic for revenue cycle management)

The number one driver of success for revenue cycle management companies that are meeting their paperless targets is providing a better patient experience, which for the purposes of the research was defined as making it easier to receive, view, pay, and store documents when received digitally.

Providing a better patient experience is critical to motivating paperless adoption, and the way to achieve this, is to approach communications with the patient at the core of all design decisions. Paying attention to what patients want to be included in their healthcare communications is the difference between a complex, unfriendly document and one that meets the patient’s requirements immediately.

Barriers to achieving paperless adoption targets in healthcare

Healthcare respondents project that ‘print/mail only’ communication will decline and ‘electronic only’ and ‘double dippers’ will take up that volume.

The two-year projections saw print volumes decline from 34% to 26%, while electronic only grew from 35% to 41%. Double dippers also grew slightly from 31% to 33% of total volume.

The research found the following to be key barriers healthcare providers must overcome to achieve paperless adoption targets:

  • Not easy enough for customer to use
  • Compliance concerns
  • Not easy enough for customers to switch
  • Industry-specific regulatory restrictions

How Doxim helps healthcare organizations overcome the barriers to achieving successful adoption of digital healthcare communications

At Doxim, we understand the unique requirements of regulated industries like the healthcare sector and can advise on how to overcome the barriers to successful paperless adoption. Our healthcare specialists are experienced in digital adoption processes that simplify the switch and encourage customers to go paperless.

We also know how to design communications so that they meet the patient’s needs immediately, with the most valuable information front and center. Our omnichannel Customer Communications Management platform generates and distributes communications across multiple channels, allowing customers to select their preferred communication channel/s. In addition, Doxim maintains the strictest compliance levels that meet the requirements of highly regulated industries, and are regularly audited.

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Jason Pothen
Senior Vice President, Sales
Jason has 22+ years of experience serving a diverse array of industries, across a wide range of print and digital communication technologies. Prior to joining Doxim in July 2020, he was a Senior Client Services Manager at Taylor Communications. In his current position as Senior Vice President, Sales, Jason is focused on developing long-term client relationships to facilitate account growth and expedient conflict resolution. He possesses deep knowledge in communication management for regulated industries, with a particular focus on the Utilities, Healthcare, and Consumer Finance sectors.

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