The cost of healthcare to the patient climbs higher and higher every year, especially with high-deductible plans as the new “normal.” Patients have an even greater financial responsibility than ever when it comes to looking after their health.
As healthcare changes, what can we as healthcare professionals do to help support the patient?
Accessibility and consistency through healthcare IT
Healthcare is becoming more and more IT driven, with healthcare entrepreneurs and companies coming together to create cloud-based solutions and services for healthcare facilities.
This allows the most up-to-date solutions to all facilities, and not only large hospitals. In implementing cloud-based solutions, community and critical access hospitals can function at the same level as their metropolitan counterparts.
Shift the focus to customer service
We need to shift our focus towards customer service! The medical world is behind in the world of marketing, but with a fast-paced digital world patients are going to the internet to find what they are looking for.
With patients feeling more of the financial burden of their health care, they now have a stronger prerogative to be proactive when selecting their providers.
In fact, 40 percent of potential patients start their search online. This will only increase as the millennial generation ages. People are looking for the best service, and the information available online–or lack of–will influence their choices. As a provider, you do have the ability to control the conversation by placing your own information out there first, and responding appropriately to any reviews that may be posted*.
For providers, it’s no longer just about who their insurance provider covers. The Internet makes it much easier for patients to do their “homework.”
Start the conversation
With all that being said, it’s still not just about new IT and cloud solutions or your doctor Yelp reviews. It’s about other healthcare professionals coming together to open dialogue about what other facilities are doing to enhance patient care.
Sometimes the solutions aren’t about adding the latest and greatest, but just adjusting your practices. This could be as simple as providing the patient with realistic expectations when it comes to wait times or response times for lab results.
The age of technology has changed healthcare and we need to be sure we change with it. Look for groups online, and communicate with colleagues. We all do better by working and learning from each other. There can always be a better a solution, a better way. Be sure to keep up with the best patient care practices.
For more information please go to www.novarad.net.
This post was written by Allie Robinson, a business policy analyst and content contributor with Novarad.
*This post does not advise any certain responses to reviews. For further information, please see the following articles: How doctors should respond to negative online reviews – Forbes, The Right Way to Fight Bad Online Reviews – MedScape.