August 18, 2022

The Patient Experience is Now a Consumer Experience

Patients are consumers with high expectations. Thanks to technology, efficient and personalized service is the norm in consumer interactions. From retail to hospitality, consumers also have become accustomed to serving themselves with digital ease.

It’s not surprising that patients now expect a similarly seamless and easy experience in healthcare.

Healthcare providers must rethink the patient experience and adapt their engagement processes to meet consumer expectations. If that sounds intimidating, particularly for healthcare organizations with strained resources and tight revenues, there are plenty of ways to rethink the patient experience without adding additional strain on your system. In fact, proven technology solutions can reduce staff stress while delighting patients and improving bottom lines.

New tech solutions are transforming how healthcare providers serve their patients. Texting is a prime example of using technology to make it easy and efficient for patients to make and change appointments, ask questions and even make payments. Using a mix of automated communication and manual responses creates efficiency while providing personalized service. If you’re not sure if your patients would like to engage using text, consider that 78% of people say they wish they could have a text conversation with a business.

Home computers and mobile tablets also can be leveraged for self-service solutions like appointment self-scheduling, mobile check-in and flexible payment options. Nothing could be more natural for patients accustomed to using digital tools and technologies to take an active role in their consumer experiences.

Storing a card on file for future payments is perhaps the most convenient method for patients to make payments. Increasingly common in consumer experiences, patients understand and appreciate the ease this service provides.

As providers build trust with patients through personalized and consistent interactions, patients can understand the context in which their card on file will be used. Combined with a Text to Pay message confirming their acceptance of such payments, using a card on file is uber convenient for patients. And there’s an added bonus for providers: on-time payments with reduced administrative costs.

One more important consumer trend worth noting: the popularity of contactless payments is exploding. Visa found that contactless payments usage in the U.S. increased 150% from March 2019 to March 2020, with 175 million contactless cards on the market. And 51% of Americans are now using some form of contactless payment, which includes tap-to-go credit cards and mobile wallets like ApplePay, according to Mastercard Contactless Consumer Polling.