Saint Fictional Rural Hospital is located about 40 minutes away from the nearest city, and about 2 hours away from the nearest hospital. As a rural, critical access hospital, the leaders of SFRH knew what it was like to deal with patient access issues, a lack of staff, and budget constraints. After feeling like the organization barely made it through to the other side of the pandemic, they decided to see if they could make some changes that would help improve their operations, finances, and improve the experiences of their caregivers and patients.
It was a tall order. But in the aftermath of the past two years with patients expecting more digital tools, and with the patient experience becoming more and more financially incentivized by payers, providers, and patients alike – they knew something had to be done.
After evaluating their options, the leaders of SFRH decided to hold a meeting to research what solutions and tools they might need to achieve their desired results.
In that research, they learned more about how the patient experience was essentially their perception of how an organization treated them. And that these perceptions affected patient behaviors and build memories and feelings to drive their loyalty. In other words: if patients like a healthcare provider and continue to do so, they are going to receive care from that provider again, and even recommend that care to others.
They also found that when it comes to patient portals and interacting with patients virtually, that there were some common patient frustrations. These included patient portals taking too long or having too many steps to set up and access, patients not wanting to have to manage multiple log ins for family members, the portal interface was not user friendly or easy to understand, and that they may find incorrect information about contacting their provider.
In addition, their research uncovered that in the height of the pandemic, 92% of providers with a Telehealth solution did not plan to stay with that platform long term. Many providers were just using apps like Zoom or Teams that were not integrated with the rest of their processes or technology.
As the SFRH leaders reviewed their findings, they coalesced around four main takeaways to drive theri strategy and search for solutions. The four takeaways were:
- Virtual care changes the competitive landscape. A patient’s decision on where to receive care is less impacted by things like geography, hours of operation, and schedule availability. With the rise of virtual care, you are competing nationally. Your ability to attract and retain patients is moving digital.
- Telehealth and Remote Care Will Change…A Lot. Don’t get comfortable with your current digital engagement and telehealth channels. As the industry refines these channels, they will change dramatically. You should also prepare now for new engagement channels to emerge.
- Customers expect more functionality with fewer logins. Whether it is banking, shopping, or even entertainment; patients are used to having one platform to manage everything from. With that baseline in place, patient expectations for healthcare are high. Numerous study’s have shown that patients are even willing to change healthcare providers for a better experience at the bedside, but also before and after care.
- The patient wants to be in the driver’s seat. With today’s fast-past lifestyle, dual-income households, and prevalence of internet connected devices, patient’s are used to managing their own needs when and how they want. What that means for healthcare providers is you need to make all your systems/processes patient-facing and available for self-service.
With this newfound direction and understanding, the SFRH leaders excitedly left the conference room, eager to make some changes and bring on new solutions that would firmly place them in the best position to care and support their patients in the new post-pandemic, ever-more digital healthcare landscape.
If you’re looking for help to implement the strategies mentioned above, and more, reach out to us and schedule a free exploratory call today. We have digital solutions that are helping hospitals and clinics around the country revolutionize their revenue cycles, registration, and patient portals in innovative, affordable, and patient-satisfaction-improving ways you’ve never seen before.
We look forward to hearing from you!
To your success, the team at Wixcorp