Patient Experience Comes of Age in 2019
The concept of patient experience is growing in importance as reforms push healthcare into a value-based model and patients become more aware of their power as healthcare consumers. This industry-wide pivot to the value-based care model is built on the notion that healthcare should be measured by the value it brings to the end-user, not the volume of services delivered by an organization. As a result, patients are becoming “healthcare consumers” with an awareness of the responsibility of managing their own health and higher expectations for a better experience with their healthcare providers. These are welcome reforms being driven by both public and private forces. Given the forward momentum of these reforms, we believe that 2019 is the year for a patient-centric approach to healthcare.
What forces are going to shape the patient experience this year? There’s plenty of rightful buzz about telehealth and blockchain acting as change agents in the patient experience. However, the most significant transformations in the patient experience lie within applications, workflow, and the mindset of practice managers.
Let’s start with patient experience applications. Change is incremental, it’s unlikely we’re going to see anything new or revolutionary in patient experience solutions right away, and that’s okay. Instead, we’ll see familiar technologies improved, updated, and automated. There will be enhancements to already standard features such as check-in procedures, patient portals, online billing, and secured messaging. Automation will result in providers spending less time on administrative tasks, lowering the risk of human error during data entry. The most notable changes may be most apparent to front-office and clinical staff.
That’s important because physician and staff burnout is a real, serious challenge in healthcare today. There is increased pressure, partly driven by value-based care reforms, for healthcare providers to understand, document, and analyze all administrative processes that define the patient experience. This is necessary to ensure that patients are receiving appropriate care that is respectful of and responsive to each individual patient’s needs.
However, new technologies can be challenging for users to navigate. Each improvement to patient experience applications will save providers hundreds of labor hours. Improving the user experience and efficiency for patient applications in the future is a top priority. The health IT industry is waking up to this reality and we’ll likely see the outcome of that this year.
Patients are going to see improvements to the intake and check-in process. Maximizing the efficiency of the patient intake process is already popular. In one Blackbook study, 89% of patients responded they prefer a self-service registration if available at their provider’s office. Patients want less hassle in the waiting room. Providers and application developers alike are recognizing this.
This year more patient intake processes will become digital and placed online. Patient portals help improve patient engagement with features like secure messaging and online bill pay. Transparency will improve too, as patients get better access to their ePHI including lab results, demographics, immunizations, and medical history, giving them more control over their care.
We ’re excited about where the patient experience is headed in 2019 because it directly relates to our mantra of “A Human Approach to Healthcare Technology”. To learn more about EHR Integration Services patient experience services, click here >