The rise of the internet with its open sharing of medical research and the explosion in health-related sites has created a much savvier healthcare consumer.
High-quality healthcare costs a lot of money today, and patients are asking more questions about their care than ever before. In fact, CDW’s 2017 Patient Engagement Perspectives Study found that 70 percent of patients say that they have become more engaged with their healthcare during the past two years — up from 57 percent in 2016.
Responding to this trend, 71 percent of providers say improving patient engagement has become a top priority at their organization, and 80 percent are working on a way to make personal healthcare records easier to access.
Providers know that their continued success depends on engaging patients in new and interesting ways. Here are three best practices that can get organizations to improve their customer service practices, engage patients through portals and deploy in-room technology that enhances the overall patient experience.
1. Hire a Chief Experience Officer
Cleveland Clinic hired the first CXO in 2007, and since then, hospitals ranging from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles have followed suit. Today there are more than 100 CXOs nationwide. Many of them come from the customer-focused hospitality industry from places such as Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott. They often don’t have medical backgrounds, but they have experience building customer-focused organizations, and that’s what many providers need.
Providers are in the business of giving care, but today more than ever, caregivers can not only promote a positive patient experience but actually empower their patients to take better control of their healthcare through the use of technology. A report published last year by the Experience Innovation Network found that 40 percent of CXOs report directly to the hospital’s chief executive officer and another 28 percent report to a clinical executive in quality, medicine or nursing. The report also found that the most successful CXOs have the full backing of the CEO and top management.
2. Enable a Patient Portal
The CDW survey found that 81 percent of providers that have improved their engagement with patients credit the availability of a portal that gives patients convenient 24/7 access to personal health information from anywhere with an internet connection.