As providers grapple with labor shortages and patient volumes that may not have recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels, it has become increasingly critical to offer patients digital options that boost staff efficiency, reduce operational overhead and enhance patient engagement.
Digital patient engagement tools represent an acceleration of healthcare’s trend toward consumerism, which has been driven in part by rising expectations and demand for the healthcare industry to adopt practices that prioritize consumer convenience in the same way as retail, banking, travel and other industries. For example, in one consumer survey, 77% of respondents said that technology for healthcare needs to be closer to what they personally use in other areas of their life.
For providers, digital patient engagement tools, including patient-self-scheduling capabilities for appointments, automated appointment reminders, online pre-service check-in and post-visit payment plan options, offer a plethora of benefits, such as improved collections, greater operational efficiencies, and integration with third-party software applications, including electronic health records (EHR) systems.
In Sphere’s new eBook, “How the Digital Patient Journey Benefits Patients and Providers,” our experts break down the patient journey at every step of the way to illustrate the value that digital patient engagement tools create for the process, including:
- Self-scheduling: By presenting patients with an option to schedule appointments that they can access at all hours of the day – as opposed to having to call during office hours – practices reduce barriers to patient access while enhancing patient satisfaction.
- Automated appointment reminders: These reminders can help practices protect revenues by providing a helpful “nudge” to prompt patients to show up for appointments, resulting in fewer “no-shows.”
- Pre-service check-in: Providers gain faster patient throughput, enabling them to boost revenues by seeing more patients in the same amount of time. Patients spend less time at the office and see providers more quickly than they otherwise would have.