Four ways to shift your patient communications to a digital-first approach
Effective patient communications are the backbone of healthcare, driving positive outcomes for patients and healthcare organizations alike. But in today’s increasingly online world, these communications need to be delivered through the channels customers prefer and use regularly, to fully engage patients throughout their healthcare journey.
Healthcare organizations that opt to digitally transform their patient communications by using an omnichannel CCM (Customer Communication Management) platform experience a host of benefits. These include: personalized patient experience, expanded education opportunities, engaging design to elevate brand, faster time-to-pay, omnichannel patient communication preferences, 24/7 access to digital content, accessible and inclusive communications.
And in today’s environment of increased postage and paper costs, supply chain issues impacting print supplies, and postal delays, it is no wonder that health care organizations are more focused than ever on initiatives to move patients from printed communications to digital experiences. If your organization, like so many others, is embarking on a digital communication transformation, read on to learn how to accomplish your goal as efficiently as possible
Shifting to a digital approach: tactics and trends
The shift to digital adoption in communications was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing organizations towards more digital interactions years ahead of schedule. Across industries, leaders are acknowledging that these changes are permanent, and, if handled correctly, beneficial for all parties involved.
To encourage even greater digital communications adoption, leaders in regulated industries are using several tactics, according to Keypoint Intelligence research conducted on behalf of Doxim:
What are the top three tactics to achieve paperles adoption targets in the next two years?
When asked about their tactics to achieve paperless adoption targets for bills and statements in the next two years, the results were as follow:
- Making it easier for customers to switch: 48% 48% 48%
- Creating a better customer experience: 46% 46% 46%
- Educating customers on the benefits of paperless adoption: 37% 37% 37%
Read on to discover a four item “to-do” list for a successful digital communication transformation and immersive digital patient experience
1. COLLATE DATA AND EXPAND YOUR LISTS
Healthcare organizations often have multiple back-office systems containing patient information, including email addresses and related permissions. Reviewing these data sources and consolidating lists of email addresses can help organizations uncover a new source of leads for paperless adoption campaigns. Some organizations have found that they already have thousands of email addresses which they are not leveraging fully, waiting to be discovered in siloed back-office systems.
2. BOOST PAPERLESS ADOPTION
Encouraging digital adoption is a twofold process. It requires addressing patient concerns around security and privacy, and then building enthusiasm through strategices like running contests and promotions which include capturing new email addresses and getting permission to communicate with patients digitally.
To support patients in their transition to digital, you’ll need a communication strategy that explains the rigorous patient protection and data privacy requirements around healthcare data, and how you will support these while communicating electronically. Patients appreciate knowing that keeping their private information safe is job #1.
Once patients are comfortable with the idea of secure digital communication, it is essential to showcase how digital consumer experiences are richer and more personal than paper documents to give them a practical reason to make the move. Keypoint Intelligence research indicates that the majority of organizations surveyed also offer their customers a variety of incentives for moving to digital communications, as outlined below. These advantages can be outlined in your digital adoption campaign, to maximize uptake:
Which of the following incentives does your organization offer customers for going paperless?
- Interactive Statements: 43% 43% 43%
- Reduce monthly/annual service fees: 42% 42% 42%
- Additional services free of charge: 40% 40% 40%
- Free credit monitoring: 37% 37% 37%
- Biometric authentication: 24% 24% 24%
- We don’t offer incentives: 19% 19% 19%
- Don’t know: 1% 1% 1%
N = 147 Total Enterprise Respondents
Source: Doxim CCM Vertical Market Study (US): Keypoint Intelligence 2021
3. REDUCE “DOUBLE DIPPING”
Another challenge, when moving patients from paper to digital experiences, comes from the so-called “double dippers” – patients who enjoy the convenience of digital communications, but are unwilling to turn off paper statements. These patients are more expensive to serve than either digital or paper-only consumers, and they can make up a substantial portion of your patient base. In fact, Keystone Intelligence found that roughly a third of customers were communication “double dippers”.
Finding innovative ways to entice your patients away from paper might include activities like “go green” campaigns, contests, or giveaways, or even a plan to begin charging patients for paper statements or to not offer paper as an option to new patients, except where mandated by regulations.
In general, organizations reported to Keypoint that at present they were focused on marketing programs that highlighted the benefits of digital-only communications, vs. taking a more hardline approach with double dippers. Should the cost of postal mail continue to rise and the service experience more delays, healthcare organizations will want to put more emphasis on reducing double dipping.
4. DECREASE TIME TO PAY
Managing time to pay for medical billings is a critical success factor of performance and growth, and digital transformation can help healthcare organizations meet their payment targets.
Patients are more likely to provide timely payments when their obligations are clearly outlined and presented to them through their preferred channels. This means that organizations can increase response rates by providing bills and payment notices across channels of choice, including email, text, html, and pdf.
Digital transformation meets everyone’s needs
With benefits that include reduced costs, increased communication agility and interactivity, along with new revenue opportunities and an increase in timely payments, it is no wonder that healthcare industry leaders are pushing hard to move patients to paperless communications. This digital shift is also in line with changing patient preferences and expectations.
Today’s patient expects organizations to communicate in a digital-first fashion, and not through only a single digital channel. They expect to be able to carry secure, hyper-personalized, consistent interactions across whichever channel is most convenient to them at the time and with the ability to get the answers they need instantly and securely.
To meet these expectations and provide an enhanced experience, healthcare organizations will need a digital-first patient engagement strategy and the underlying technology stack to support the delivery of patient-critical documents and omnichannel personalized communications, engaging patients throughout their healthcare journey.
How Doxim can help
As a single, trusted partner offering a holistic CCM solution, Doxim can help you operationalize your digital transformation strategy, reduce your paper and postage costs, and make every patient interaction count.
Doxim’s omnichannel CCM platform can empower your business users to generate the frequent, ongoing, and personal interactions your patients crave, and distribute these communications through multiple channels, including a host of digital options (PDF, HTML, email, text, online interactive experiences) as well as print for those who demand it.
The omnichannel capabilities of the platform are such that when a patient calls in to speak to a service representative or engages with a chatbot, both human and machine can provide immediate assistance by calling up the communication or document that the customer received. This keeps every patient communication connected, making hyper-personal, omnichannel patient interactions a reality.