The healthcare industry as a whole is notoriously slow to embrace new technology. But with patient expectations on the rise, independent healthcare providers need to recognize that dragging their feet on adopting certain technologies could greatly affect their practice’s overall success.
Read on to uncover a few tech upgrades you should make at your practice today to better satisfy your patients and outpace your competition.
Technology upgrades that will better satisfy your patients
A doctor’s top priority should be to deliver effective, compassionate care, but ensuring an overall positive patient experience is also highly important to the success of a healthcare practice. The following technology upgrades can help delight your patients to increase satisfaction and loyalty.
In an ideal world, no patient would ever have to wait beyond a few minutes for their appointment to begin. But delays happen, so patients will entertain themselves with their phones or other devices.
According to the interactive technology company EyeClick, 28 percent of people use their mobile phones or tablets while waiting for anything — whether it’s their meal at a restaurant or their doctor’s appointment to begin. To limit their data usage, most people will want to connect to WiFi.
It seems simple, but providing fast WiFi is an easy way to show patients you care about their needs. Offering WiFi could also encourage patients to visit more and stay longer.
A great way to improve patients’ in-office experience is to give them access to tablets like the Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy. Consider this tech upgrade for a few reasons:
First, tablets can be used to help patients check in, fill out necessary paperwork, and confirm medical history and contact information. Digitizing these tasks benefits your staff, too, because they won’t have to manually type patient records at a later time, which saves time and could reduce errors.
Second, tablets can be helpful in educating or entertaining patients while they wait for their appointments to begin. Load your tablets with information about office procedures, the types of services you offer, or general healthy living tips.
Technology upgrades to help outpace your competition
Healthcare providers who initiate tech upgrades in a timely fashion give themselves an advantage over competitors who do not adopt technology as quickly. Below are a few tech upgrades that help improve your practice’s overall efficiency.
Patient portals allow patients to access their medical information at their own convenience, which reduces the amount of time healthcare staff must spend relaying information over the phone. According to Exscribe, an orthopedic healthcare solutions company, other benefits of using a patient portal for your practice include:
- Reduced incidence of no shows
- Improved patient engagement
- Increased efficiency
- Improved communication
Though many patient portals have limited functionality today, they are expected to become more user-friendly in the coming years, according to Medical Economics.
Look: The 6 best communication channels to drive patient retention
Automated appointment reminders
Appointment reminders are proven to help reduce no-shows, but it’s not practical for your staff to manually call or email every patient. With automated appointment reminders, they don’t have to.
Timely automated appointment reminders are sent to patients via text message or email. After receiving their reminder, a patient can easily confirm their appointment, or contact your office to reschedule. According to the Pew Research Center, 83 percent of Americans own a mobile phone and 73 percent send and receive text messages with their phones, making text an ideal way to help patients keep their appointments top-of-mind.
Automated patient surveys
It’s no secret that patient feedback can help improve your practice. Yet many healthcare practices do not actively seek feedback, because the survey process can be highly time consuming. Automated patient surveys solve this problem.
With automated surveys, a text message or email is automatically sent following appointments asking patients about their experience. Your practice benefits from patients’ observations without adding any additional work for your staff.
Check out: Manage online reputation with a patient feedback system that works
Practice growth software
Though it’s possible to invest in tech upgrades like automated appointment reminders and patient surveys from individual vendors, it’s more beneficial to you to find a single provider for all of your tech needs. That’s where practice growth software comes in.
Not only does practice growth software like PatientPop help you automate time-consuming front office tasks like appointment reminders and patient satisfaction surveys to save your staff time, it also helps you continuously attract new patients with an enhanced web presence and stellar online reputation.
Interested in learning more about healthcare tech? Check out the blog “5 emerging digital healthcare technologies doctors should know.”