Customer service in healthcare is a complex and unique business. Perhaps, this case presents the most difficult environment when it comes to finding a balance between delivering medical care and a good patient experience. Anxiety, stress, uncertainty, and vulnerability. These are the circumstances where caregivers and patients typically find themselves. What makes for good customer service in this situation? Let’s have a look at some practices and software.
1. Effective Communication
James Merlino from Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, US, says that healthcare services are not a luxury but a necessity, so there is no critical need for utmost patient experience.
Today, effective communication in healthcare involves everything from contacting a healthcare provider to make an appointment to paying bills associated with medical care. Clear-cut answers to patients’ requests, the structured workflow can transform customer service in healthcare for the better and retain patients.
In the US study of healthcare consumers, over 50% of those surveyed said they would change their hospital for another one in case of inadequate communication or unsuccessful efforts to contact a health professional by phone or email. Proactive medical care delivery management solutions and management of administrative tasks may be achieved through the adoption of CRM systems that include appointment planning, billing management as well as streamlined documents systems.
2. Providing Accurate Diagnostics and Enhanced Treatment
Nothing is more conducive to recovery than an accurate diagnosis. Personalized and precise medical care is vital to provide great customer service. Modern technology-assisted innovative mechanisms allow healthcare providers to ensure never-before-seen progress in diagnostics. Thus, artificial intelligence (AI) technology performs at the radiologist-like level and achieves a breast cancer detection accuracy comparable to an average radiologist. Another AI-powered application allows detecting pneumonia, eliminating human errors, and providing for timely treatment.
According to Deloitte’s research, this is the area where customer experience may encounter challenges: 68 % of respondents consider the integration of their medical records across all of their healthcare providers as an important factor in care delivery. Electronic Health Records (EHR) are much more than just health records. This software integrates all medical logistics from a physician to a pharmacy and insurance company. This is extremely important for treatment continuation and medical follow-ups.
3. Quality of Medical Staff
There is a direct interrelation between the competence of medical professionals and patient experience. For example, a better nurse work environment may be associated with higher scores on patient-experience studies. Staff training may embrace multiple options, from customer service training games to e-learning. The latter could be more effective for some medical focus areas, inter alia, for pediatric medication e-learning, than conventional training.
4. Ensuring Privacy and Security
Health records are sensitive data. Security concerns have always been large in healthcare, irrespective of the fact whether we talk about paper records or digital ones. Healthcare providers should ensure strict patient data accessibility, properly train staff to detect potential risks, adopt secure software to prevent data breaches, etc. After all, maintaining a secure database costs less than the loss of goodwill and lawsuits.
5. Easy Billing and Insurance
Medical manipulations are painful, but for many patients, medical billing and insurance claims can also be stressful. For great customer service, it is important to streamline billing and insurance-related workflows both for healthcare providers and patients. CRM software can provide access to unified systems for all staff of a healthcare provider, including billing and insurance departments, and optimize the respective processes in terms of accuracy, speed, and communication.
To wrap it all up, customer service in healthcare starts with empathy and has no limits when it comes to its improvement. Adoption of technologies at a customer touchpoint has the potential to enhance the patient experience. Proactive use of software in healthcare can eliminate multiple challenges in interactions with patients and develop long-term relationships with them.