The pandemic led to a loss of $22.3 billion in elective revenue while healthcare systems had to focus on providing critical COVID care. There are now opportunities for providers to refocus on patient elective procedures and other profit-generating business operations. LaneTerralever partnered with the Convince and Convert team to produce the Post-Pandemic Healthcare Patient Insights Report 2021 to better understand the patient journey and areas with room for improvement.
66% of patients had to delay elective procedures during the pandemic, and 39% of them don’t plan to reschedule.
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Using feedback from 617 recent and prospective patients nationwide, five valuable patient insights were discovered. Here’s how you and other healthcare systems can aim to recover and grow their elective treatment business.
Dedicate Time for Reputation Management
Patients don’t evaluate many providers during their research process, so once they find you it’s game on! You have a small window to convert a patient, so make sure your online presence reflects you well.
Make sure digital feedback and online reviews are addressed in a timely manner. Set aside time to manage your organization’s reputation every week. Also, prepare providers with possible patient concerns using intel to overcome known obstacles and establish trust from the get-go at consultations.
Nearly 50% of patients only evaluated one provider and upwards of 78% of patients evaluated no more than two providers.
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Prioritize Patient Education
Many of today’s buying experiences begin online. Patients will enter those crucial keywords and seek out answers to their medical and health questions. The goal is they will find your office and be presented with answers and more. Your website should serve as a trusted resource and ultimately present you as the prime choice.
Think about what stands in the way of that choice being made.The patient may not understand the process and whether you can help them with their specific needs. Ease the minds of patients and head off misunderstandings with patient education. Tell them what you do and don’t do. Get creative and serve all the learning styles with visual infographics, interactive quizzes, and short videos.
In addition to your online resource hub, make sure staff is educated and that information is clearly understood and shared with patients. This will create consistency and enhance patient experience.
59% of patients are looking for information about the procedure on a provider’s website and yet 44% of patients felt their provider’s website either didn’t or only somewhat answered questions.
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The Patient Journey Does Not End At The Procedure
There’s a lot of build up pre-op, but post-op is just as critical to your patient experience. Afterall, your patient has placed their lives in your hands and the outcome impacts whether they will feel positive about the experience and share good reviews online and by word-of-mouth.
“It felt like they sold me on the procedure, and once it was done, they were finished with me.” — John C., 61 years old, Cosmetic
What are your patients expecting? Show them you care and do not forget to follow-up. 56% of surveyed patients shared their providers did not follow-up after their procedures. That’s more than half of providers not proactively making the effort to tend to patient relationships and that’s a huge area where you can recover and build up your reputation. A simple step is allowing for one-on-one touches using phone calls and personalized emails.
56% of providers are not proactively following up with patients post-op
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Build Trust with a People-First Mentality
Healthcare procedures are a cause of uncertainty for patients. Afterall, they are ultimately their own strongest advocate and they need to make sure they are making the best decision for their health and their wallet. Before the patient steps in your door, they need to have confidence. What sets you apart and makes you a trusted provider for the patient? Be transparent with them by making information accessible online and allowing room for questions at consultations. This relationship is what you make of it. Share your knowledge and maybe up the rapport with a gift, but most of all don’t hold back on the kindness!
Don’t Ditch Traditional Communications
Digital transformation is the buzzword. We are changing the way we work and how we interact with others, but one thing remains the same for elective healthcare patients: they want good old-fashioned communication. Take your operations to the next level with brand management solutions like Podium, but don’t ditch traditional communications. Patients still want to retain personal touches and prefer phone or in-person interactions.
To stay ahead of the competition in terms of technological advancement but provide the best patient experience, take value in conducting a survey. Gain feedback from patient experience and have that lead the way as you try to get patients back in the office.
You Win When Processes Meet Hospitality
As with all things in life, there is a balance to the patient experience that you need to own. Work smarter with technology that connects your patients to information they need but don’t forget to be with them every step of the way. Don’t rely on automated calls and emails to build the trust your patient deserves.
There are great opportunities for improvement identified in the report, so take a look and see how to improve patient experiences and meet their current expectations and needs.
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