Prioritizing the Patient Journey: The Importance of Improving Healthcare Customer Experience

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Prioritizing the Patient Journey: The Importance of Improving Healthcare Customer Experience

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Prioritizing the Patient Journey: The Importance of Improving Healthcare Customer Experience

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Digital Transformation of Healthcare

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    Digital Transformation of Healthcare

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    Providers are struggling to deliver the growing level of healthcare customer experience patients expect. A recent Harris Poll survey revealed that 62% of customers feel that healthcare services are confusing, and 66% don’t appreciate that they have to manage many healthcare needs themselves. 

    The importance of customer experience can’t be stressed enough. According to McKinsey, consumers demand more transparent, predictable, and mobile-friendly patient experiences—and most healthcare organizations have failed to provide them.

    Putting Patients First

    Gradually, both healthcare institutions and entities in the healthcare customer experience space are recognizing the importance of patient experience. A recent 2022 Harvard study found that around 57% of providers are proactively strengthening their customer experience (CX), prioritizing it over cost reduction and revenue-increasing initiatives. More convincingly, a Deloitte-Scottsdale Institute survey showed that 92% of health systems have put engagement and consumer satisfaction as a top goal.

    Thus, improving patient experience will be a crucial differentiator in this post-pandemic business landscape. After experiencing COVID-19, patients have been accustomed to the non-negotiable conveniences that enable virtual checkups, on-demand medicine delivery, and AI in healthcare.  Thus, the big question for players in the sector will be: Who will deliver better, exceptional healthcare customer experience?

    What is Healthcare Customer Experience?

    Before diving in, let’s define the concept of customer experience in healthcare. Healthcare customer experience comprises all the interactions between the patient and the healthcare provider—from the patient’s initial contact with the health institution to aftercare and follow-up.

    Patient experience is synonymous with patient-centered care, which The Institute of Medicine defines as:

    “Providing care that is respectful of, and responsive to, individual patient preferences, needs and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.”

    In this case, the patient must always be put first. To be more specific, when assessing healthcare customer experience, providers will be taking a look at factors such as:

    • Effective and Transparent Communication
      • Timely provision of test results and clear explanation of treatment options between patient and care provider
    • Empathy & Engagement
      • Sensitivity to a patient’s needs and feelings
      • Understanding their situation and providing healthcare with compassion
      • Access to support groups and psychological guidance
    • Quality of Treatment
      • Accurate diagnoses, prescriptions, and medical advice
      • Provision of effective and personalized treatments, services, and care plans
    • Ease of Access
      • Convenience in scheduling check-ups
      • Accessibility of facilities
      • Intuitive website navigation
      • Prompt user feedback
    • Error-free Billing or Charging
      • Smooth payment processes
      • Short queue and waiting times
    • Proactive Aftercare and Support
      • Complete provision of care outside of the medical facility (e.g., instructions for at-home care)
      • Provision of additional resources or information

    At the end of the day, health institutions must be able to provide a holistic, agile, and patient-centered healthcare experience. This entails not just meeting their needs but also adapting to their changing preferences and demands.

    While medical advancements such as healthtech solutions provide convenience, care providers should build trust and loyalty with patients, an important aspect of people’s decision-making process today.

    Why Improve Healthcare Experience?

    Improving healthcare experience has many industry-defining benefits:

    28%
    are less likely are less likely to change their chosen healthcare provider if they are satisfied with their patient experience.
    20%
    saw an increase in revenue and a 30% decreased cost after healthcare providers initiated efforts to improve patient experience.

    Research from Deloitte indicates that good patient experience positively correlates with higher hospital profitability. The message is clear—creating a better healthcare experience for all results in repeat customers and a better bottom line.

    How to Improve Patient Experience in Healthcare

    Improving patient experience entails implementing patient-centered initiatives that go beyond the facility. Here are some ways a healthcare organization can provide better experiences for their patients:

    • Emotion & Empathy
      • Oftentimes, providers fail to deliver the “care” in healthcare. Institutions should be sensitive to their patients’ values, beliefs, ethnicity, gender identity, and preferences. One effective way to address this is to personalize health services. Investing in staff training can also help an organization’s frontliners deal with patients more empathetically.
    • Focus on Engagement
      • A Deloitte Center for Health Solutions study indicated that a highly engaged staff likely improves patient experience. Furthermore, the CDC found growing evidence showing that more engaged patients tend to have better health outcomes and experiences.
    • Consult with an Expert
      • If creating exceptional customer experiences is not an organization’s forte, getting help from an expert at CX services could be the right move. Consulting with reputable companies in customer service to gather crucial insights and build strategies might be the key to understanding and meeting patients’ high expectations.
    • Gather Feedback and Evaluate
      • Providers can learn much from their patients by sending surveys and getting honest feedback. By doing so, they can find ways to improve how they deliver services and manage their customers.

    In conclusion, healthcare providers must invest and improve their patient experience. Curing illnesses and providing proper treatment aren’t enough in a high-demand consumer market. Having the best medical professionals and delivering top-notch service doesn’t equate to meeting customer expectations. Institutions must put the patient first, focusing on providing patient-centered initiatives and experiences.

    WHITE PAPER

    Digital Transformation of Healthcare

    Download White Paper

      Download Whitepaper

      Digital Transformation of Healthcare

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      I understand that my information will be used in accordance with applicable data privacy law and TaskUs' Data Privacy Policy. Please review our Privacy Policy for additional information.

      References