How can technology help improve the patient experience in a healthcare setting?
Technology can greatly enhance patient experiences, primarily by improving access and transparency. Forward-thinking healthcare organizations can work to improve patient experience with technology, if it’s executed well. Let’s dive into each topic.
How Technology Can Improve the Patient Experience in Healthcare Settings
In today’s fast-paced world, technology plays an increasingly important role in many aspects of our lives. One area where technology can have a significant impact is healthcare, particularly when it comes to improving the patient experience. In this article, I discuss two primary ways that technology can enhance the patient experience within a healthcare delivery setting: access and transparency.
1. Improved Access for Better Communication and Continuity of Care
Technology provides patients and clinicians with more accessible means of communication and allows for more frequent touch points throughout the care journey. This improved access starts even before a patient sets foot inside a clinic or hospital facility.
Email notifications, appointment reminders, and secure messaging platforms enable asynchronous communication between patients and their healthcare providers at any point during treatment – from initial evaluation through to follow-up appointments. These tools make it easy for both parties to ask questions or provide updates on progress without needing to wait until they are face-to-face again.
This constant flow of information not only helps maintain continuity of care but also ensures that both clinician and patient remain engaged with one another over time as well – which is critical when treating long-term conditions such as physical therapy or occupational therapy needs.
2. Increased Transparency Through Data Visualization & Cost Tracking
The second way technology may significantly impact the patient experience is by increasing transparency in a couple key areas:
- Data Visualization: Many current electronic medical record (EMR) systems document crucial data about patients’ progress towards treatment goals; however, these records often aren’t easily digestible by laypeople who want an overview of how far they’ve come since beginning therapy sessions. Integrating data visualization tools into patient engagement platforms allows patients to view their progress towards self-stated goals and understand the value of services provided. This transparency can be instrumental in helping patients feel more engaged with their care, which may result in better adherence to treatment plans and improved outcomes.
- Cost Tracking: One significant challenge for many healthcare consumers is understanding how much each service will cost them – especially when accounting for co-pays, coinsurance amounts, or other out-of-pocket expenses that insurance doesn’t cover. The development of platforms or apps could help track these costs throughout a course of treatment; giving patients a clearer idea of what they are paying (or potentially saving) by choosing one provider over another. This increased visibility into the financial aspect of care empowers patients to make more informed decisions about seeking alternative options if necessary.
Technology holds vast potential for improving patient experiences within healthcare settings by focusing on two main areas: access and transparency. By providing new ways for clinicians and patients to communicate effectively – even outside traditional office hours – technology helps ensure continuity of care while keeping both parties engaged throughout the entire process. Moreover, data visualization tools embedded within existing EMR systems allow individuals to see their progress towards specific health goals; thus increasing motivation levels as well as adherence rates overall. Lastly, introducing cost-tracking mechanisms through dedicated platforms enables people who use healthcare services regularly (or plan on doing so) greater clarity regarding expected expenses related directly back toward treatments received; empowering them further still when it comes time making any important decisions needed moving forward.
The integration of such technologies not only has the potential to make life easier for both providers and those receiving care but also paves the way toward creating an environment where everyone feels better supported at all times – leading inevitably down path marked ‘improved experience’ writ large across entire industry itself!
What ways do you think that technology can improve patient experience experience?
For more content like this, check out our Insights Page and check out The Better Outcomes Show. Or if you want to humanize healthcare through your business or organization, learn how Rehab U Practice Solutions can help here! You can also schedule a call with Rafi to discuss your company’s positioning strategy and brainstorm a business development plan here. Check out Rafi’s latest book, Better Outcomes: A Guide to Humanizing Healthcare, on Amazon!
Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L (Rafi) is the Principal Owner of Rehab U Practice Solutions and the host of The Better Outcomes Show and the author of Better Outcomes: A Guide to Humanizing Healthcare. His career trajectory includes 10+ years of experience in healthcare management, clinical operations, programmatic development, marketing & business development. He even spent some time as an Assistant Professor in a Graduate Program of Occupational Therapy and has served on numerous boards and regulatory committees. He has worked on projects ranging from patient engagement initiatives to marketing communication campaigns to a multi million dollar project assisting the State of Georgia's Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities transition individuals out of state institutions to community residences. His work on Telehealth has been discussed in Forbes.
Today, Rafi helps innovative healthcare companies like technology startups, platforms, and SaaS companies develop effective positioning strategy and business development plans through his consulting work. He also leverages his experience as a professor and academic to speak and train on the topics around humanizing the healthcare experience. In addition, Rafi also owns and operates ProActive Rehabilitation & Wellness, a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic treating patients with musculoskeletal pain.
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In short, we help your whole organization become focused on the most important thing in healthcare: people – the people who work for your organization, and the people who your organization treats or serves.