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Since the inception of the Covid-19 pandemic, many have needed to change how they do business. Doctors are no exception. Physicians and their staff are now using digital patient engagement tools to decrease barriers to care, ensure patient satisfaction, and improve the quality of care. If you are running a practice, you may consider using some of the recommended tools below.
Digital wallets make life easier for everyone. Consumers highly favor digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay because they provide convenience by eliminating the need to carry cash or cards. People will forget cash, cards, or even their wallets well before forgetting their mobile phones. Statistics show that increasing; consumers prefer digital wallets over cash or cards. According to the most recent research, cash transactions dropped to 28% in 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic began. Of course, the pandemic has increased the use of digital wallets because they enable contactless payments, and methods that facilitate contactless payments cause consumers to feel safer.
Patients will appreciate the availability of digital wallets because many are stressed when they visit doctor’s offices since they are likely seeking help for illnesses. Depending on the severity of the illnesses they are contending with, remembering to bring their wallets is the last thing on their minds. Digital wallets will not only allow them to pay copays conveniently, but they will also provide an easy way for patients to store insurance cards, ID cards, and other important cards they need to produce during their appointments. Finally, it is a well-known fact that doctor’s offices are full of germs. After all, sick people are the ones who usually see a doctor. Therefore, patients will appreciate methods being in a place that allows them to make contactless payments to avoid unnecessary exposure to germs.
Self-scheduling tools are being used across a variety of industries. Businesses appreciate how self-scheduling tools allow consumers to schedule appointments on their own time, enabling staff and practitioners to spend less time on the phone and more time focusing on clients. It is no different for the healthcare industry.
Patients appreciate using self-scheduling tools to book appointments online rather than waiting until office hours to talk on the phone. Not to mention, many find it difficult to book appointments during office hours, especially if they work demanding jobs and cannot spend time on the phone. Online self-scheduling tools remove barriers to accessing care since patients can make appointments on their own time and improve patient satisfaction.
Patient relationship management software is useful for engaging patients because it automates many administrative processes so staff can focus on providing patients with top-notch care. Automating administrative tasks will help employees stay organized and minimize mistakes. In addition to automating administrative tasks, management software will advise staff of what tasks need to be completed next so staff will not have to spend time prioritizing tasks and figuring out processes. When staff are less consumed with administrative work and can give more time to patients, this will lead to higher patient satisfaction rates.
Patients love the option to check-in digitally and fill out all intake paperwork. Those who are blind or have print disabilities especially appreciate this option because finding someone to fill out paperwork for them is an immense burden as they must wait for someone to be available. Sure, some staff at doctor’s offices have offered to help, but this involves speaking information aloud to others. In addition to being more convenient, digital check-in tools are great for the environment as they save on the amount of paper that must be used, thus sparing our trees.
Finally, telehealth platforms and mobile healthcare improve patient satisfaction and reduce barriers to accessing care for special populations such as those with disabilities or severe chronic illnesses that make traveling significantly difficult. In addition, individuals with multiple chemical sensitivities who react because of exposure to perfumes, air fresheners, and other chemicals will appreciate telehealth options to minimize reactions that cause significant problems, as many live in isolation due to fear of exposure.
When choosing digital patient engagement tools, you must choose only those that are 100% accessible to those with disabilities. This is because people with disabilities are the ones who will benefit from these tools more than anyone else, as they face the most barriers to accessing care. While Google and Apple have committed to accessibility and strive hard to make all solutions accessible, other companies have not. Therefore, in addition to ensuring inclusion, accessibility is the law, and you must choose only accessible patient engagement solutions.