Providing A Better Patient Communication Experience
Today’s consumers expect the same high standard of communication from healthcare providers as they get from any other sector. They are also increasingly open to digital alternatives – in fact, more than 70% of patients today prefer digital communication and over half expect it (Accenture 2019).
Regardless of whether it’s provided via print or digital channels, one thing patients definitely want is information from their healthcare providers that is clear and easy to understand. That means healthcare providers need to design a better patient communication experience.
What constitutes a better patient communication experience?
It’s very important that patient communications promote transparency around costs and liabilities. While patient communication, such as a statement, has to include specific service and payment information, there is room for improvement through personalization of the entire experience.
Patients want correspondence that is easily accessible, with clear and useful content beyond just the financials. Creating a really personalized experience takes into account the patient’s individual circumstances, and presents information that is relevant and useful information just for them.
Improving the patient experience requires a multi-prong approach, based on what patients really want, including clear and intuitive processes.
The healthcare sector has a lot of regulatory requirements, but it is possible to buffer the patient from some of this complexity, by designing front-end processes that are simple and as frictionless as possible.
It’s possible to provide an optimal patient experience by placing the patient at the core of the design phase and keeping regulatory complexity behind a layer that is customer friendly. For example, creating a summary version of a patient statement that only includes the information needed to pay the outstanding amounts. The official communication that fulfills regulatory requirements can be attached for reference.
Help patients to self-serve via the channel of their choice
Patients appreciate the option to self-serve and they prefer to do this via the channel of their choice. Healthcare providers need to offer an omnichannel communication experience, letting the patient choose how they want to interact.
If they prefer a mailed statement, make the experience a great one by adding personalized messaging and custom advice. If they prefer a digital statement, let them choose between receiving it by email or logging into a patient portal to self-serve.
Too often, healthcare communication and channels are based on what “can be done” and what’s required to stay within regulatory requirements, as a primary consideration. While it’s imperative that correspondence meets regulatory requirements, it is just as important to meet the patient’s needs and make the provider’s process as efficient as possible.