We all know what it feels like. Booking an appointment with our doctor, dentist, or eye care practitioner, crossing our fingers, and hoping the process won’t be frustrating, fraught with hiccups, and that we emerge largely unscathed on the other end.
And like you, I’ve had plenty of awesome patient experiences along with ones I’d rather forget. In general, I’ve always received quality care, but what makes or breaks the deal for me is the entire care journey from making the appointment all the way through to bill payment and scheduling follow-up visits. Like you, I’ve spent what felt like an eternity in the waiting room, jumped through all kinds of crazy hoops just to book an appointment, and nearly forgotten scheduled visits.
But what I remember more than the worst “horror story” patient visits are the quick, easy, convenient experiences with practices where I’ve left the appointment and thought to myself, “Wow, that all went really well. That practice is a keeper.”
With April 25–29 being National Patient Experience Week, I thought I’d take a minute to express my gratitude to practices who truly go above and beyond to delight patients. They’re typically the ones that use modern technology to make my patient encounter as effortless and convenient as possible.
For example, I have several chronic conditions that require me to make regular preventive visits with my healthcare practice. I love to get text recall notifications that remind me I’m due for a diabetes check or that I need to come in to have A1C blood work done. It keeps me on my toes, helps me adhere better to the care plan, and makes managing the disease an easier lift.
When I have an upcoming appointment, whether it be to see my medical practitioner, my dentist, or my eye care practitioner, automated appointment reminders are a game-changer. I don’t get bothersome calls but instead receive quick and easy text reminders that I can put on my calendar. I get several reminders and can confirm the appointment by just replying to the text—no phone calls, no voicemails, no hassles.
It’s so cool to me when providers and specialty practices have automatic wait lists that I can add my name to and get in to receive care in days rather than waiting weeks or months. That’s a major competitive advantage in my book.
It may seem cliché, but the digital tools available to practices these days really do make a difference in my patient experience and that of millions of others. The great part is that they’re also a ginormous win-win for the practices that use them.
Automation and digital tools allow practices to reach more patients more effectively while freeing up short-staffed front offices and call centers from heavy call volumes and time-consuming manual workloads. The end product is not only happier, more satisfied patients but also greater operational efficiencies, lower costs, and increased revenue.
If your practice’s front office is drowning in manual patient communication tasks due to inefficient systems, insufficient numbers of staff, or wilting call volumes, think about how a comprehensive patient communications platform can provide a better experience for both your patients and your practice staff.
Patients like me will appreciate the clear, effective communication and streamlined care journey. Your staff will be able to breathe and you’ll be able to book more appointments, build patient loyalty, and run a more profitable practice.
To learn more about improving the patient experience can lead to happier, more loyal patients, check out the guide, “How to Know What Your Patients Are Thinking (And How You Can Make Them Happier).”