Unlike large hospitals and healthcare facilities, private practice clinics need to put in a lot more effort to be able to attract and retain patients. Private clinics are inherently a business, and patients are no different from customers—with that, they need to have a good patient experience for them to keep coming back.
Aside from traditional means like training staff on good customer service and upgrading the waiting room, private clinics can also invest in tech solutions to improve the patient experience. The best examples of such solutions include:
A patient portal is one of the best solutions for patient engagement for both large and small healthcare facilities. Acting as the main source of health information, patients are able to see their appointments, health records, billing information, and test results all in one place—and without having to call the clinic or pay a visit to check.
Patients don’t want to be put on hold just to find out if their test results are ready or when their next appointment schedule is. With a patient portal, private clinics can knock out two problems with one stone—patients having to call the clinic for information and healthcare staff having to answer those calls, which potentially takes the staff’s attention away from more important matters.
2. Patient messaging
Seamless communication is imperative to a positive patient experience. With modern technology, most people expect to receive answers to their questions as fast as possible, especially when it comes to their health. With the abundance of messaging platforms today, patients don’t always want to call—and potentially have to be put on hold—just to get an answer to their queries.
A patient messaging platform can help make communication between patient and provider much easier and more efficient. With this tech solution in place, patients can send in their messages, and healthcare staff will have an easier time replying to them compared with engaging in phone calls.
Moreover, a patient messaging platform can keep a history of communication, which, in turn, can help providers protect themselves in case a patient accuses them of giving out wrong information. Aside from that, online messaging platforms are inherently more secure than verbal communication over the phone since it reduces the risk of people listening in on private conversations.
3. Automated reminder system
Missed appointments are one of the leading causes of increased overhead for healthcare facilities of all sizes, but the impact is much larger on small private clinics. One of the best ways to reduce missed appointments (and improve the patient experience at the same time) is to set up an automated reminder system that will send out messages to patients to remind them about their upcoming appointments.
This type of tech solution can also be programmed to ask for confirmation of attendance. With this kind of feature, providers can schedule in other patients for canceled appointments, thus making the most out of overhead costs and helping patients receive care as soon as possible.
4. Test results notification system
Another thing that patients hate is having to call in just to find out if their test results are ready. Health is an extremely important matter, and it is only right that every aspect of their healthcare is treated with the right urgency. That said, notifying patients when their test results are ready should be an obligation of every healthcare provider.
A test results notification system is an excellent solution for this. Some patient management systems have this feature built-in, but there are also standalone systems that are available. With this type of tech solution in place, patients will be able to receive text messages or emails to alert them when their test results are ready. In turn, this makes it easier for them to know when they should come back to the clinic, which also helps speed up the healthcare process at the same time.
5. -Patient kiosk
One of the most effective ways to negatively impact the patient experience is to have patients go through a tedious check-in process. Not only that, but this can also make wait times unnecessarily longer—another thing that patients hate when going to the doctor.
Utilizing a patient kiosk can make the check-in process easier and, at the same time, less time-consuming for both patients and healthcare workers. With this type of technology, patients can complete forms, sign consent forms, and scan their insurance cards easily and quickly. Moreover, it can help reduce costs, limit patient waiting time, minimize errors, as well as help healthcare staff focus on more important tasks.
A positive patient experience is inherently important for the success of a private practice. With these tech solutions in place, not only can private clinics improve the patient experience, but they can also streamline multiple processes along the way, including patient intake, scheduling, and billing, among many others.