In recent years, technology has redefined peoples’ experiences of shopping and consuming goods and services. Healthcare is also experiencing a similar patient evolution.
Patients prefer practices that provide them with a positive and nurturing experience, which means being just the best treatment provider is not enough for them. To provide your patients with this kind of positive, nurturing, and spa-like experience, your practice will have to embrace technology.
So, what are these key technology components you should consider when implementing a digital ecosystem for a better patient experience?
Registration kiosks help to automate your patient’s check-in process. These can be in the form of computers, tablets, or even mobile phones - depending on the practice management software you use in your practice. These kiosks expedite the check-in process and ease the workload of your reception staff, allowing them to help build a better relationship with your patients.
But how do these kiosks improve your patient’s experience? Well, they improve efficiency and reduce the waiting time for your patients. Also, these kiosks can automate tasks such as collecting co-payments or any outstanding balances, verifying insurance eligibility and coverage information, as well as completing pre-service forms.
Patient portals or Practice Management Software
Practice management software is vital for your patient’s health digital ecosystem because it brings the patient’s pertinent information in a single, easily accessible location.
When you choose a PMS, it should allow patients to schedule appointments at their ease, pay their pending balances, provide access to their clinical data, x-rays, and reports, after-visit summary, patient health education information, bi-annual reminders for screenings/check-ups, and also keep you compliant with HIPAA regulations.
With patients being more aware and invested in their health than before, the software can be an excellent medium for your patients to have a direct open communication channel with you. Also, through this software, you can grant your patients access to their dental records, which further helps patients build trust in your practice.
While all these facilities are shared with your patient, you can use this software to collect feedback from them, which can help you improvise for a better, positive patient experience.
In the video attached to this article, the dentist mentions that he is using tab32 for managing his practice. And, he mentions the appreciation his patients give, while he seamlessly enters the patient’s data and later explains the dental problems through images and X-rays.
Since some of your patients would have left work to come to their dental appointment, by providing free Wi-Fi, you allow them to continue with their work, while they wait for their turn.
Also, with different streaming services available, you can let them browse through and watch the shows/movies of their choice. This will not only entertain them during their waiting period, but will keep them distracted during the dental treatments. These add-on services not only help your patients feel comfortable, but add to the positive experiences in the patient’s journey.
Technological advancements are impacting dental fields too. With increased health awareness, the number of people using health fitness tracker apps on their smartphones is on the rise. This has created an era for tele-dentistry, where people can exchange their clinical data with the dental specialists of their choice. Research has shown that 70% of the patients are comfortable with using text, email, or video for communicating about their healthcare needs.
The form of exchange or consultation, as mentioned by the American Dental Association (ADA), can use either of these modalities - live video, store-and-forward, remote patient monitoring (RPM), and mobile health (mHealth).
Even though this form of consultation has its own concerns, it provides your patients with a better experience as they save time and energy.
With an increase in the consumption of information or content over the internet, it's not surprising that people or patients are regularly using the internet to research health-related information. Deloitte’s 2015 survey of US Healthcare Consumers found that 40% of individuals used the internet for information related to their health and treatment.
This means that just building an online presence is not only mandatory, but it should be optimized for all devices, such that patients can get answers to their health-related queries through you. And, if the site has the facility for online-appointment scheduling, then it will add to the patient’s experience.
Quite many of your patients may come armed with information and questions obtained from the internet. By being forward-looking practitioners, you can encourage your patients to understand how to use that knowledge for the betterment of their health. This will not only make your patients trust you but also make you partners in their health, thereby increasing patient experience and satisfaction rate.
Advanced Dental Equipment
Technological advances aren’t limited to just the diagnostics in the dental field. Based on the scope of your practice, you can think of investing in technologies such as CBCT, CADCAM. These not only help you reduce the in-patient chair time but will help you provide faster results for your patients, resulting in a higher patient satisfaction rate.
Technology is changing the face of healthcare. And looking out for ways to incorporate technology into your practice will not only enable better patient engagement, but also improve the patient experience.
We have mentioned some of the ways you can incorporate technology into your practice. If you think creatively, you may find more ways to integrate technology into your practice. Once the digital ecosystem is in place, your practice can reap the long-term benefits of patient attraction, expansion, and retention of the patients, as well as revenue growth.
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