The expectations that patients place on medical professionals to deliver a certain type of care is ever-changing. It varies with the development of new technology and each time light is shed on a new issue surrounding health. Meeting patient expectations relies greatly on a physician’s ability to provide quality care while engaging patients in the most updated ways possible. When patients feel like their physician is falling behind, they will soon switch to another provider. In order to meet and exceed patient expectations, providers should consider implementing the following features into their practice.
Exceeding Patient Expectations:
1) Accessible Health Record
Prior to the introduction of the Electronic Health Record, obtaining your personal health information was rather difficult. A patient would have to request it from their physician and depending on the practice, that could have been a quick process, but often took an extended amount of time. Through a quality EHR, providers can exceed patient expectations by not only making their personal health records completely transparent and accessible, but patients can also download and print those records for their own use.
2) Simple Scheduling
In 2020, meeting patient expectations is contingent on a provider’s ability to simplify care processes as much as possible. Patients in today’s world have grown accustomed to instant gratification or obtaining results within seconds. In order to meet patient expectations, providers must utilize software that enables simplified scheduling and appointment reminders. A patient must be able to log onto their patient portal, schedule an appointment, or reschedule if necessary. Depending on their preferences, patients should be able to opt to receive text, email, or phone call reminders that help them stay on top of their appointments and important care.
3) Visit Alternatives
New generations have high patient expectations when it comes to the options they get to choose from. Younger patients are no longer satisfied with exclusively in-person visits as they are too restrictive to their on-the-go schedules. In order to meet patient expectations in 2020, providers must offer visit alternatives such as telehealth or an e-visit. This allows the patient to meet with their physician remotely, allowing them to focus on their job or other responsibilities.
4) Communication Tools
Simplified communication is another great tool that will help providers meet patient expectations. If a provider wants to exceed patient expectations, they must have a communication centre found in their patient portal. 24/7 access to communication allows patients to quickly message their provider without having to visit with them. This increases patient engagement while also satisfying a patient’s need to quickly receive the answers they’re looking for.
5) Payment Options
Patients want to pay on their medical expenses just as they pay their mortgage or electric bill, instantly, online, and with a credit card. Digital payment integration with the right software vendor enables your patients to make payments via their patient portal. Here, they can view and understand their balance while also paying their bills. Online payment processing with a quality vendor is accessible 24/7 and allows a patient to pay on their medical bill the second they think about it, rather than forcing them to wait until they forget. Providers will also meet patient expectations when they offer to process payments with a credit card in the office. Not only will this help you satisfy your patients, but it will also improve patient payments and positively impact your bottom line.
6) Prior Authorization
Another patient expectation that is continuously growing as time passes is the capacity and ability to understand and plan for the cost of medical care. Prior authorization and eligibility verification allow providers to inform patients of the coverage and cost of their care before services are rendered. This eliminates the likelihood that a patient is caught off guard of the cost of their care and meets their expectations in terms of trusting their provider.
To learn more about how to not only meet but exceed patient expectations, click here.