Here are a few questions you can ask yourself or your leadership team while you design the patient experience:
- What do you want your patients to experience before they even contact you?
- What do you want your patients to perceive of your medical practice or brand before they decide to make the first call / click on the first book now button / first “request an appointment” form submission?
- Think about how you want the patient to experience your call center or your front desk when they call to make an appointment
- What about the patient experience when they submit a “Request an appointment” on your website?
- What do you want them to experience when they do land on your website?
- What should your patients experience when they click on a “Book now” button on facebook or google?
- What should the patients experience after they book an appointment? Should they be asked to fill out their demographics information before they come into the practice? Should they fill that out in the waiting room?
- What would you like the patients to experience when they want to reschedule their appointment? Or cancel their appointment?
- What happens when your insurance eligibility team figures out that their insurance is not eligible on the date of visit? Do they cancel it or do they give the patients a heads up or do they work with the patient towards a middle ground or payment plan?
- How should the patient be treated / greeted when they come into your practice?
- How does the patient check in? Do they do it digitally or do they wait for the endless line at the front desk?
- What is to happen if the wait times are extending longer and the patient has another prior commitment?
- What happens when the patient does go into the work up room? Do they go through the techs asking them for all their medications history or can the patient update this information while they are at home, before coming into the practice?
- How long of a wait time should patients be asked to bear after they have been “worked up” by your tech?
- How much time should your providers spend with your patients? Should they be spending time looking at the EMR or should a scribe help them do so?
- How do the patients get an estimated cost of care so they can make decisions?
- How do the patients pay their copays? Do they pay cash or via credit card or can they avail care credit or other options?
- What happens to patients and what do they experience when there are patient bumps due to inevitable provider emergencies?
- Do patients get a satisfaction survey at the end of their appointment? Or are they asked to leave a review? How do they provide feedback to your practice?
- Do your patients automatically get a no show reminder to reschedule if they forgot to show up for their appointment? Do they have to pay if they cancel within 24 hours of the appointment?
- Do they get automatic recall SMS if they have not come in for a preventive check up for 6 months?
- Do they get a patient balance reminder if they have an outstanding balance due at your practice? Do they get a statement from you?
- How do they pay their balances? Do they pay via check or cash or credit card? Do they have to come in to the practice to pay or can they do so from their homes?
These are the things you need to think through when you are designing your patient’s experience with your brand and throughout their patient engagement journey with you and your practice.
When a patient is delivered an exceptional experience, they are more prone to:
- Stay engaged with your practice
- Stay engaged in their own healthcare decisions and make more preventive appointments
- Stay loyal to your practice
- Show up for their appointments
- Refer more patients to you
- Leave positive reviews about you online that would lead to your brand reputation and your getting more patient bookings
Invest in this today, get rewarded tomorrow.