The increase in patient consumerism has been well documented in recent years, with consumerism becoming a focus of practices hoping to retain and even grow their patient populations. Many practices end up feeling overwhelmed and unsure of the specific steps to take to satisfy patients, and we’d like to help. Read on to learn how to satisfy your consumerist patients even before their appointment.
Why have patients become consumers?
The driving forces for healthcare consumerism are healthcare cost, quality, and convenience. Patients are more conscious of cost and value than previously, largely due to changes in health insurance, such as the increase in high deductible health plans which has created more of a financial burden for patients. Another factor increasing this financial burden is more patients choosing Medicare Advantage Plans and individual plans through the Medicaid expansion.
Today’s patients are more informed than ever before, understanding quality of care in new ways. Patients have become accustomed to finding the best possible option when it comes to their care, much the same way they do with any other service they need.
Patients have more options to meet their needs for convenience. With the increase of urgent cares, minute clinics, and standalone telehealth services, patients face few limits in getting the care they need, when they need it. This allows them to have more choice than ever before.
What are consumerist patients looking for?
Consumerist patients want transparency regarding their care. This transparency should cover cost as well as information regarding their diagnoses and treatment plans. Additionally, patients want convenience. They want quick and easy appointment scheduling, and they want to avoid long waits at the doctor’s office. Finally, patients want to be able to make their own choices when it comes to their care. Patients want to be able to research providers to find the one that fits best with them, and they want to partner with that provider in creating a treatment plan.
Three Tools to Satisfy the Consumerist Patient Before Their Visit
1. Practice Marketing
The chance to delight your patients begins before they arrive for their visit, as far back as when they first learn about your practice. Your first chance to impress your future patients and potential patients is with practice marketing. Patients are actively searching for medical services that they feel fit their specific needs. In fact, over 72% of people search for medical providers online, making your practice’s online presence incredibly important. With this in mind, invest in robust practice marketing services that will not only create you a strong website, but also mange your online reputation across review sites and social media.
2. Patient Scheduling
Once a patient has seen and been impressed by your marketing, they will want to schedule an appointment. Remember, convenience is a focal point of consumerist patients, so they’ll want to do this conveniently. This is where online scheduling comes in. No more phone calls or waiting on hold. Allowing patients to schedule their own appointments directly from your website will go a long way toward patient satisfaction.
3. Patient Intake
Finally, do what you can to eliminate, or at least reduce, wait times. Today’s patients love a streamlined experience, and the experience of sitting in a waiting room filling out a clipboard full of forms is anything but streamlined. Using digital intake allows patients to fill out their check-in paperwork before they arrive for their appointment at a time that’s convenient to them. As a bonus, you’re likely to get more accurate information by using this method.
Satisfying consumerist patients doesn’t have to be overwhelming, you just need the right tools to allow for a streamlined process. That’s why SolutionsHub works hard to vet the best products for your practice to use. Ready to get started? Check out the products listed below and reach out to SolutionsHub to get started.