Patient expectations for healthcare experiences that mimic those of retail are clashing with a system that’s currently troubled with severe staffing shortages. Scheduling a healthcare appointment can mean waiting on hold, dealing with complicated phone trees, and potentially playing phone tag with a doctor’s office. This inconvenient, outdated approach leaves much to be desired from a patient experience perspective. In response, health systems are laser-focused on increasing patient engagement, implementing solutions and processes that positively impact experience scores, and improving care outcomes.
As the to-do lists of healthcare teams—including clinicians and support staff—grow, these individuals have fewer resources with which to complete them. Technology that automates manual outreach and allows staff to “hang up the phone” on actions like appointment scheduling is a welcome reprieve. And for staff who are already overburdened with non¬-administrative tasks, increasing patient engagement is easier when it’s integrated with the electronic health record (EHR) system they use every day.
Automated engagement saves time (for staff and patients), boosts the patient experience, and fills up schedules faster, resulting in higher visit volumes for hospitals and health systems. Organizations that still rely on their staff to make hands-on phone calls are missing out on opportunities to address staffing and capacity issues while offering individuals a more personalized, convenient digital experience. A recently conducted survey of more than 2,000 individuals revealed that nearly half (45%) struggled to schedule healthcare appointments, and one-quarter experienced delays in treatment or surgery. Fortunately, combating this frustration is simple with automated platforms that support this goal of increasing patient engagement.
In his latest article, Vik Krishnan, General Manager of Intrado Digital Workflows, expands upon this topic and details how health systems can tag in tech to help with burdens related to our industry’s complex staffing and labor dynamics. You can read the full Chief Healthcare Executive article here.