Healthcare providers have understandably been focused on providing quality care, improving outcomes and reducing the cost of care. With all these key priorities, why spend the additional time and effort focusing on creating a frictionless patient experience? Accenture research reports that hospitals and providers who deliver a superior patient experience tend to have 50% higher margins than their peers. A positive patient experience encourages people to actively engage with their providers—and that engagement leads to greater understanding, better attention to potential problems and earlier resolutions, all of which promotes positive outcomes for both patients’ personal health and providers’ fiscal health.
Applying customer satisfaction benchmarks
A Net Promoter Score®, or NPS® is a customer satisfaction benchmark that measures customer loyalty and predicts business growth. This proven metric has already transformed retail and many other industries, providing the core measurement for customer experience management programs. Healthcare providers have been slower to adopt NPS as a measure of patient loyalty. In fact, NPS scores for those healthcare providers who do utilize the measure are, on average, just one-third of those for hotels. There are, however, notable exceptions, including GoHealth Urgent Care, where “an intense focus on customer experience,” has enabled the national urgent care provider to consistently deliver industry-leading NPS ratings since 2015.
The value of service
Attracting and retaining patients in 2019 is an even greater challenge for all healthcare providers. Low satisfaction scores from poor patient experiences translate into both failure to attract new patients and a greater likelihood to lose your existing patients and the associated revenue. 50% of patients are willing to switch providers quickly in response to poor service (think “one and done,” rather than “three strikes and you’re out”). As high deductible plans become more prevalent, and the vast majority of patients regardless of their insurance plan, are taking on a greater share of the financial burden, they seek greater value for their out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, and that includes the convenience of a more frictionless patient experience.
Here are five recommendations for how you can earn and enhance patient loyalty:
- Request and respond to patient feedback. If you don’t already track NPS or your patient’s likelihood to recommend you, start now to establish a benchmark of your own performance for comparisons against your direct competitors and the healthcare industry at large. Any feedback from a patient merits a response. When feedback is actively solicited (patients authentic responses), providers must be prepared to take meaningful action quickly and go beyond a mere apology. At GoHealth Urgent Care, we track our NPS on a site-by-site, provider-by-provider basis in real time, and quickly address this valuable patient feedback to ensure we remain the urgent care provider of choice.
- Learn from and adapt to what other industries are doing to personalize the customer experience. For example, leverage technology to automatically identify and greet patients by name, based on the phone number of their inbound call.
- Like all consumers, patients increasingly value and expect a mobile‑friendly digital experience. Every aspect of the user interface for your website and any other digital interactions with patients should be designed for ease-of-use by anyone on their own device.
- Online scheduling. One of the most important elements of your patient’s digital experience is the ability to schedule and cancel appointments online, yet only 56% of organizations are doing so today, according to an industry assessment. Keep it simple and save gathering registration details for the on-site visit to avoid adding friction to the initial experience. If you don’t make it easy to cancel an appointment, you are increasing the likelihood of no-shows. Focus on removing friction from every interaction with your patient, creating a seamless digital health experience.
- Establish interoperability and partnerships with other providers. When your patients visit another provider, they don’t want to be asked for all the same information that they have already provided to you. With patients’ permission, you should share their information with other providers, as requested, in a secure manner. Towards that goal, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have called for an end to faxing patient health information by 2020. GoHealth Urgent Care partners with healthcare systems and providers to ensure that we “connect the (data) dots” for patients to better manage the information needed to deliver the highest quality and continuity of care possible.
About GoHealth Urgent Care
GoHealth Urgent Care is one of the country’s fastest-growing and largest urgent care companies. At GoHealth Urgent Care, providing unparalleled experiences that are effortless, personal and connected through partnerships with market-leading health systems and communities as a whole. GoHealth Urgent Care operates more than 100 urgent care centers throughout the U.S. GoHealth Urgent Care is a d/b/a of Access Clinical Partners, LLC, a TPG Growth portfolio company. TPG Growth is the middle market and growth equity investment platform of TPG, which has over $94 billion of assets under management. To learn more, please visit.
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