We’ve discussed the many ways that healthcare will evolve, but what will the patient experience look like? Will technology make it smoother or will it be driven to the point of nonexistence because we will know what ailments will impact us from birth? The future of patient experience will be affected by newer generations and by what they value. If they value a quick experience then technology will morph to accommodate those wants and needs, but, as the retail market has demonstrated, this can’t come at the cost of the customer experience and the personal connection with peer consumers and healthcare professionals.
What Is The Point Of The Patient Experience?
If a patient has an enjoyable patient experience, they are more likely to revisit the clinician or facility when they need support, they are also more likely to use services appropriately. This results in patients potentially accessing services and support earlier when they first develop signs or symptoms rather than when things are further advanced and disabling. What that means for the overall system is reduced healthcare costs, because in the majority of cases the earlier a disease is treated and managed the better the outcome and the cheaper the treatment.
What Is The Problem Being Faced?
The issue is that many patients feel that their relationship between them and their healthcare provider or doctor isn’t ideal. Many patients are stating that they think their doctor could listen to them more or that their experience feels like it lacks understanding and empathy. Few have positive relationships with their pharmacist or practice nurse, who can often help and is more accessible than the physician. When patients feel they aren’t being heard it results in low attendance for regular checkups, they will think that what they say is not important or valued.
How Can Technology Help?
Technology is being used in every facet of life, from wearable gear to phone applications. Wearable gear is more than just a FitBit or iPhone that tracks your steps and heartbeat. They can be used to monitor your health in your day-to-day activities and can give your doctor an understanding of your health that you could not provide. With that information, patients that head to their visit can pull real data from the patient and compare it to what the patient is saying. Yet, why just have the wearable technology monitor your health? The future will hold tech that will allow users to snapshot their vitals when they need to.
Phone applications are another great way that doctors and hospitals can monitor your health and appointments. Patient portals are being provided to allow patients to answer questions for their visit and can be used to see test results at home. This reduces communication barriers that many did not consider before. Yet, why stop there? The future of technology will hold ways for patients to speak with a doctor or AI after hours when many wouldn’t be working. With artificial intelligence being used, the possibilities are endless.
Technology can even be included in the waiting room. When patients walk in they can be greeted by kiosks that would have their information; those same kiosks can also provide tea, water, or coffee depending on patient preference. Before patients enter the doctor’s room, they can do a quick walkthrough of their symptoms at the machines and any information that is recorded will then be passed along to nurses and doctors so that the visit is efficient. Patients want to feel like they are being listened to and that the process is quick. These are just a few simple ways that can be done.
The patient experience is an important aspect of healthcare. If doctors and healthcare providers want to ensure that their patients are happy, they need to revamp the experience for them and ensure they are well provided both in the hospital and out.