Today’s patient wants access to information quickly, empowerment over their patient journey, and updated communication options to help them manage it all. How are providers responding? Keeping up with modern demands requires new methods for patient engagement at five critical touchpoints in the patient journey. 

At the Becker’s Patient Experience + Marketing Virtual Forum, Peter Aftosmes, vice president of strategic engagement for Premier Health, and Hally Pinaud, head of product marketing at Podium, discussed patient experience research and shared suggestions on how to improve performance at each touchpoint.

Here are five key takeaways from the discussion:

1. Show up where patients are looking for you. 

Most patients read online reviews before choosing a provider. In fact, patients who book a healthcare appointment are more likely to run at least three times the number of searches than those who don’t book an appointment. The flipside? Providers aren’t as active as they need to be to show up online. “Out of $14 billion in ad spending by the healthcare industry, only 14% is allocated to digital,” said Peter, “There’s a mismatch in investment.”

2. Make it easy to schedule an appointment. 

man looking at appointment time on watch

“It’s harder than ever to use phone [calls] alone to deliver the kinds of relationships that our patients want,” said Hally, “Texting is in. It’s convenient, sidesteps call volume issues, and allows you to follow up asynchronously.” To add texting, providers can simply enable click-to-text on their Google My Business listing, making it easier to capture mobile searches.

3. Elevate the care experience. 

Many patients rate the pre-care experience as the worst part of the patient journey and missed appointments cost health systems incredible resources—both time and money. Something as simple as text appointment reminders can make a big difference. “We need to do a better job of communicating with patients in the mode they prefer,” said Peter. Providing an option to convert in-person admissions, check-in conversations, and printed paperwork to text conversations can better facilitate the patient journey.

4. Offer more convenient payment options. 

While the majority of consumers embrace electronic medical bill payment options, most healthcare providers are still using outdated collection tactics like mailed invoices. Mobile choices like text-to-pay are not only demanded by patients, but they significantly reduce the time to collect payments

5. Collect feedback and manage follow-up conversations via text. 

Research shows most patients are dissatisfied with the discharge process, due in part to a lack of follow-up communication. Most patients want a follow-up from providers within 48 hours, and most young patients expect a follow-up via text. A consistent patient engagement technology can help boost the patient experience and allows providers to address issues as they arise during the patient journey, not just at the end. Even more interesting? Most consumers will write a review when asked. And the more patient reviews your practice has, the more accurate your online reputation becomes—showcasing what you offer and the quality of patient care.

person looking at text message on mobile phone

Hally noted that for the thousands of healthcare providers that have adopted Podium, they see incredible results—an average 4.7 Google star rating per location, a 92% increase in inbound calls from their Google My Business listings, and a boost of 67% in website traffic. 

To learn more about the event and listen to the webinar, click here

Bryan Oram
Bryan Oram AVP of Healthcare Enterprise Sales

Bryan Oram is a Healthcare professional at Podium, the leading messaging platform that connects healthcare businesses with their patients.

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