4 insights on creating a connected experience for patients

Empathy has always been valuable in the patient-provider relationship.

But it is important to treat patients with empathy not just at the point of service, but in all interactions across their entire journey, from pre-service to payment.

In a March webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review and sponsored by RevSpring, Kristen Jacobsen, vice president of marketing and omnichannel engagement at RevSpring, discussed how healthcare organizations can better understand the collective patient journey, and how doing so makes for a better patient experience that ultimately helps people fulfill their financial obligations.

Four insights:

1.) The patient journey must be treated as a whole. From the time a patient searches for a provider during preservice, to interacting with the provider during point of service, to the point of completing payment for care during post-service, patients experience their healthcare journey as a continuous experience and not separate, intermittent interactions. "It's not just their billing experience, or how they receive appointment reminders or how they find you on the website," Ms. Jacobsen said. "The collection of those experiences is what defines how they think about you as a brand. It's not enough just to look at each individual point of interaction and make them excellent on their own. From the first time that a patient interacts with us to the time that they pay that bill and are able to provide us feedback, what does that full experience look like?" 

2.) Understand the patient and help the patient understand you. It isn't just about understanding patients and how they like to engage. "We also want to make sure they understand us as providers, as an organization," Ms. Jacobsen said. That means helping ensure they are prepared for the appointment and being transparent in pricing so patients know what their cost obligations will be. "And not just what the payment options are, but what are the right payment options for them," she said. 

3.) To help patients understand financial obligations, connect the entire experience across the patient journey and make it easy. It should be easy for patients to get cost estimates from the beginning of their care journeys. If a patient has to cancel an appointment, there should be an immediate way for them to reschedule. There should also be digital self-service options and a portal to make payments digitally rather than wait for a bill in the mail.

4.) Patients respond to engagement strategies. RevSpring reports that strategies like self-service portals and its Smart Statements help increase overall yield up to 5 percent, shorten days to payment up to 15 days and increase payment rates. They also see 90 percent patient satisfaction rates and a 20 percent increase in self-service rates.

By setting up and fostering mutual understanding and building an empathetic, connected, seamless patient experience, healthcare organizations can help guide patients through their journey, from preservice to payment, and empower patients to successfully fulfill their financial obligations.

To register for upcoming webinars, click here.

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