2018 Industry Trend: Personalizing the Patient Experience
In our highly digitized and data-driven world, today’s consumers have come to expect companies to know them, offer products based on previous purchases, anticipate needs based on interactions with the company and tailor messages specifically designed for them. Not surprisingly, patients (who are also consumers) have come to expect this same level of personalization from their healthcare providers.
Yet, in the midst of all this personalization, many patients feel the information they receive from their healthcare providers is not tailored to their needs. A recent West study found that only 12 percent of chronic patients feel strongly that their healthcare provider is doing a good job of delivering information specific to their needs and condition.1
So how can healthcare organizations provide the personalization that patients want? Staying healthy is important to everyone, but achieving that goal varies by person. Providers can personalize all patient communications based on individuals’ health conditions, medications, lifestyle choices and personal goals.
How to personalize patient communications
Most healthcare practices already have the technology to personalize patient communications. However, they may not know how to use the tools they have—such as electronic health records and patient engagement technology—to create targeted and relevant patient outreach.
Using their appointment reminder technology, providers can connect with patients in their daily lives to provide the support and personalized information many patients say they need. Depending on patient preferences, communications can be sent as emails, text messages or voicemail messages in order to:
- Provide personalized check-ins between appointments
- Offer condition-specific ideas for managing chronic conditions such as diabetes
- Remind patients to take medications as directed and follow their treatment plans
- Make it easy for patients to ask questions and connect to their healthcare team
- Inform patients of additional services related to their specific needs
- Encourage patients to schedule wellness visits for annual physicals, flu shots or preventive screenings
- Give healthy living tips such as recipes and exercise routines
When healthcare teams prioritize patient outreach and personalize communications, they can often increase engagement and improve patient satisfaction. Why is this important? West survey responses revealed that feeling satisfied with their healthcare provider is important to 94 percent of patients, and 88 percent say they would switch providers if dissatisfied with their care.2
Patients are counting on their healthcare teams to educate, encourage, remind and push them to make healthier decisions. Customizing patient communications using their existing technology allows healthcare practices to give patients the personalized patient experience they want, improving patient satisfaction as well as the practice’s bottom line. Interested in learning more about strategies for personalizing your patients’ experience? Download the complete Prioritizing the Patient Experience report.