In our last piece on healthcare, we focused on decidedly high-tech developments in healthcare delivery: how artificial intelligence (AI) is laying the groundwork for better healthcare experiences. But there are things healthcare organizations can do today to enhance the patient experience without having to deploy an army of healthcare robots (Not yet C-3PO, not yet!) or overhaul their entire operational backend to do it. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality “patient experience encompasses the range of interactions that patients have with the health care system.” So it’s necessary to focus on a whole range of patient touchpoints to drive patient experience. In fact, some of today’s most compelling healthcare trends are focused less on technology solutions and more on human values.
“The patient needs an experience, not an explanation.”
~ Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, Renowned Psychiatrist
We’re seeing uneven rollout of self or automatic check-ins. Popular with younger demographics, apps, tablets and other ways to speed up the check-in process are being deployed in some healthcare settings for convenience and efficiency. But not everyone wants a low level of interaction when arriving at the clinic. Some patients want the assistance of a human and person-to-person contact where they're led through the check-in process. In most practices, healthcare serves a large age-range of patients, so a technology like automatic check-in will not be adopted by all. Since the whole goal of automatic check-ins is to reduce wait times, providers must find a way to drive that patient experience outcome across a number of different processes. Convenience maters, but choice matters more.
Another development we’re seeing is the focus on making routine – yet vital – information-gathering more efficient. Instead of having the patient fill out paper forms multiple times at different doctor’s offices that must then be transcribed into an electronic form, many healthcare providers are digitally capturing information from the patient, then inputting provider notes, diagnosis, and treatments. The result is a robust electronic health record containing all pertinent information. That record can then be seen by the patient, a referral specialist or one’s own primary care physician at any time. The challenge is that many providers means many systems to capture data – so large providers have a leg up – but the benefits of electronic health records are clear. Processes should increase efficiency and reduce error.
While the electronic health record captures information in the in-clinic setting, people live in the real world. We’re seeing more and more devices that help patients monitor and manage their health issues at home AND provide information back to providers in real time. Whether it’s the fitbit or other wearables, constant glucose monitoring in your arm or portable heart monitors, wearable tech is on the rise. While these may be cool gadgets from the consumer vantage, what they solve for is even more important. Getting valuable health monitoring information back to providers used to rely almost exclusively on self-reporting from patients in the clinic. New tools are empowering better health decision-making through real-time information sharing.
Are you a healthcare provider? We’d like learn more about your insights and challenges driving patient experience. Contact Adrenaline at firstname.lastname@example.org.