September 11, 2019
The demand for improved healthcare is multiplying every day. Consumers are seeking better access to healthcare options and outcomes. Healthcare organizations are regularly upgrading their care delivery process and focusing on providing better access to healthcare. The result is improved patient experience and better healthcare outcomes.
However, healthcare providers face several resource limitations. The lack of staff, affordable healthcare services, and limited providers have presented a dilemma for consumers seeking quality healthcare. The demand for sustainable healthcare is growing and organizations are not completely equipped to meet these requirements. To increase patient satisfaction, it is important that consumers have proper access to healthcare alternatives.
Access to quality care has different connotations for both healthcare providers and patients. It entails delivering quality care and the ability to access it at any given point in time respectively for both. Healthcare providers evaluate access to care in terms of –
On the other hand, the patients relate access to healthcare in terms of –
Achieving patient satisfaction in healthcare is based on how accessible care is to the patients. Their experience is determined by how often healthcare providers are engaging with them. There is a need to eliminate this gap between what the patients expect and what the healthcare providers can deliver.
Impediments in better access to care
There are several challenges that both patients and healthcare providers have to face while deliberating on access to care. By understanding these challenges, providers can develop better ways to deliver quality care.
Patients face difficulties in proper medical coverage, massive deductibles, lack of reasonable means of transportation, appointment schedules, and previous bad experiences with the provider.
On the other hand, healthcare providers also have resources limitation to deliver quality care. They have limited staff, increased no-show rates on appointments, minimum optimization, and limited capabilities to offer services through phones.
Meeting the growing patient demands is necessary if healthcare providers want to keep their edge in the industry. They must focus on developing methods of engagement for improved patient experience.
◙ Reaching out to new patients
Healthcare providers must create a strategy for reaching out to new patients. They must create a better communication system with the patients by reminding them of appointments and providing the necessary information. Sending personalized invitations to the patients is a good way to improve access to care and ultimately, increase patient satisfaction.
Healthcare providers must quickly attend patients referred to others. Scheduling them faster builds credibility and strengthens trust in the provider. Patients must also be regularly contacted to assess how their treatment is working. In today’s digital world, healthcare providers need to maintain their online presence. They must have a proper website where patients can search them and schedule appointments, get health information, and find options for their treatment.
◙ Bringing patients closer to quality care
Lack of affordable transportation is a big reason for patient no-shows and cancellations. Patients can’t access quality care because they can’t reach that. Healthcare providers can arrange for common transportation that can help patients reach the facility. They can also partner with local taxi or cab service providers which can be accessed via a mobile application to patients. This is an invaluable service to patients that can help them reach the healthcare facility and avail quality care. One of the important aspects of improving patient satisfaction in healthcare is how many patients have quick and convenient access to healthcare alternatives available to them.
◙ Creating a digital framework
Healthcare providers must use technology to their advantage and utilize digital healthcare methods to ease the process of delivery. Patients must be able to book appointments online, stay constantly in touch with the clinicians, and receive regular follow up.
Patients that can schedule an appointment online have shown better engagement than those who can’t. They can know the real-time availability of the doctors and book an appointment according to their convenience. Healthcare providers must then send appointment reminders to patients for reducing the number of no-shows and cancellations. Patients must also be able to reschedule their appointments and must be informed of any prerequisites for the appointment. Convenience is a major indicator of improved patient experience and they will prefer the provider that offers the most convenience.
One significant improvement healthcare providers can bring is implementing technology to stay connected with patients, all the time. They can resolve health-related queries through emails, text, chatbots, or phone. Offering a way to digitally communicate with the providers increase patient trust and leads to better satisfaction.
◙ Providing health
Patients have so many questions related to health that they would want to be answered. Healthcare providers can offer relevant educational and informative material. The appointments are of limited time and not every question can be answered. In this case, patients can access a portal created by healthcare providers for seeking information relevant to their illness.
Creating health-related content is a positive step towards increasing patient engagement with the healthcare provider. Providers can send information on email or text messages of the patient’s diagnosis and offer better answers to different problems. This determinant will drastically improve patient satisfaction in healthcare as patients today want information at their fingertips.
The number of satisfied patients is probably the most important factor in determining the success of a healthcare provider. This number increases with the increase in the number of patients who have proper access to quality care. It drives better performance of the healthcare providers and helps patients achieve better treatment at an affordable cost. TechJini is a leading healthcare solutions provider, enabling organizations to deliver quality care through top-notch IT solutions. Contact us today for maximizing access to care and improved patient experience.