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The Power of Patient Choice: Why Flexibility is Key for Your Practice

Dec 6, 2019 8:04:52 PM

We all wake up and make choices every day. In an industry like healthcare, it’s important to offer your patients choices, too. Today’s healthcare trends reveal that patients are more informed and empowered to make healthcare decisions than at any other time in history.

If your patient demographics and associated expectations are always changing, how do you keep up? By giving them the power to choose and control their experience.

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Overview

Choice and flexibility should be at the center of your business approach to differentiating your practice and meeting your patients’ needs. With so many advancements in technology today, offering choices and the flexibility to choose has become essential to the modern practice.

As technology and healthcare become more integrated, your patient’s needs also evolve to reflect the new norm. Each medical practice is a bit different - whether it’s the size, patient volume, specialty, or location. However, one benefit is universal in the effort to improve patient satisfaction: flexibility. Many practices only need a few key elements to deliver a great front office experience, and it starts with choice.

In this article, we will not only discuss the power of choice and why flexibility is key for your practice, but also how certain industry trends can provide perspective on this changing space.

The Power of Patient Choice

Most patients have the right to choose their doctor/provider. Why should their choice stop there?

The notion of patient choice has intrinsic value and demonstrates that practices better understand their patient needs and are investing in patient satisfaction. Offering choices to your patients and customers not only puts the power in their hands, but it also allows you to build a trusting and lasting relationship.

The millennial mindset has affected and caused a shift in how we interact and expect to communicate with healthcare providers. The new generation of patients are seeking a transparent patient-centric experience that is tailored to their wants, needs, and expectations. With more choices available in this digital age of healthcare, patients are more empowered to make their own healthcare decisions.

The use of mobile devices such as phones, laptops, or tablets is ubiquitous, and your waiting room is already full of people using them to pass the time.

Why not make it easier and allow them to use this same technology for a faster, more personalized experience? Increase satisfaction and offer more flexibility with multiple check in solutions on a device of their choosing.

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Stationary vs. Mobile Check In Options

New technology is already redefining check-in experiences at airports, concert venues, and sports stadiums. And now, hospitals and clinics are leveraging similar technology to process patients.

New technology solutions for check in are redefining the traditional doctor-patient relationship that has dominated the medical industry for decades. Now, practices must change the way they operate to stay competitive by offering choices and flexibility.

Patient expectations have shifted towards convenience and flexible experiences that they have the power to control. Offering multiple choices for self check in means that practices need fewer staff members to manage that task and gives them more time to build a positive relationship with patients.

Most recently, self check in areas are equipped with tablets or kiosks to choose from for a smooth and seamless experience.

Consumers will gravitate to an experience that is most natural and comfortable for them. For example, older patients might prefer a face to face interaction at the front desk during check in, while younger patients may be more comfortable using a phone or tablet.

Kiosk Benefits

Manual check in procedures are slow, time-consuming, and an easy way to test the patience of office visitors. Indeed, asking patients to fill out lengthy paperwork which is later manually transposed and can actually lead to errors and longer wait times.

If you are seeking ways to modernize your practice, increase efficiencies, and help provide your patients with faster check in, kiosks are a great way to support self service check in.

Mobile Benefits

Due to the prevalence of mobile devices and applications, a mobile check in experience can offer a familiar and easy solution for many patients. According to Pew Research, 81% of people own a smartphone.

Mobile solutions can offer patients a variety of options, from scheduling to self check-in, bill payment, and access to medical records, they can do it all from their smartphones -- something they already use every day.

Tablet Benefits

Tablets are another great option for self service check in that gives practices more flexibility in their front-office workflows.

Tablets are ideal for eliminating lines as they begin to form - simply distribute a tablet to guests in line to ease pressure on the front desk or check in kiosks. Tablets can also support elderly patients who are unable to stand for a long time, or those with disabilities or mobility challenges by letting them check in where they are comfortable using a tablet. Tablet form factors are highly flexible and can be used in any size office - from a mobile clinic to a large hospital. Tablets can also be taken to shared or remote location offices, and can be placed in a stand or distributed to patients at their seat.

Clearwave is delivering a new tablet check in solution soon! Click below for exclusive updates:

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Patient Choice & Flexibility Recap

Offering patients choice and flexibility can be advantageous but is an investment that requires you to understand your patient demographics, needs, and expectations. Providing a positive experience which includes a “check-in on your terms” option could be the differentiation your practice needs to be competitive in the age of mobile devices and increasing consumer expectations.

In fact, improving patient choice, cutting healthcare costs, and supporting consumer-centered care are key action areas for the Department of Health & Human Services. By providing enhanced patient experiences like a better and more flexible check-in process, you may find other aspects of your practice benefiting too.

Clearwave’s check in solutions provide flexible check-in options allowing practices to improve the patient check in experience and enhance workflows for any office size or specialty.

Click below to learn more about how you can add flexibility to your practice with Clearwave!

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