It’s common knowledge that patients today have different methods for choosing providers than in the past. Whereas previously patients tended to follow the recommendations of their insurance or primary care provider, today’s patients take a much more consumer-driven approach, doing research on their own and choosing providers according to what they find. This means that today’s practices would do well to consider what patients want and how best to fulfill those desires. Read on to learn more.
What is important to patients today?
With a more consumeristic approach to healthcare than previously, today’s patients are prioritizing some of the same things they do with any other service when it comes to their care.
- Transparency: Patients want providers to share what they know. If there’s uncertainty about a patient’s condition, be up front with them about it, as they just want to feel like they know what’s going on. If an error was made, be honest. Doctors are people, too, and patients are often understanding as long as the lines of communication are open.
- Attentiveness: Patients want a provider who listens to what they have to say and respects their point of view. This means that you’ll need to listen without interrupting or rushing. Approach encounters with patients as conversations, and you’ll likely see a positive impact on your patients’ health.
- Trust: In order to have the best possible health outcomes, patients must be honest with their providers. Such honesty requires a sense of trust, and that trust can be earned through respectful listening.
- Time: Patients want their provider’s time. No one likes to feel rushed or dismissed, so be sure to allow your patients ample time to feel heard and cared for.
- Convenient access: Patients expect to be able to see their provider when they need to. Implementing hours outside of the typical 9-5, Monday through Friday, in order to accommodate working patients, can go a long way toward patient satisfaction.
- Clear instructions: Patients want to understand their care plan. Give clear, accurate instructions, both verbally and in writing. Also, be sure to take time to explain and answer questions to ensure full understanding.
- Collaboration: Patients want to be involved in their care and considered when planning treatment. Getting patient input and buy-in will also improve adherence to treatment, which will lead to improved health outcomes.
5 Must Haves for Attracting Patients Today
With patient priorities in mind, there are certain must-haves that will help to showcase your value to consumerist patients today.
- A good reputation, both online and through word-of-mouth: Today’s patients are choosing their providers based on who they believe will be a good fit for them. They make this determination by talking to friends and family and conducting online research. The better your reputation, the more attractive you’ll be.
- Online scheduling: With convenient access being such a priority for today’s patients, the ability to quickly and efficiently schedule appointments is very attractive.
- Digital intake: Anything you can do to demonstrate that you value and respect your patients’ time is a good idea. Utilizing digital intake eliminates the need for patients to arrive early to complete intake forms. As a bonus, an integrated digital intake solution will automatically load the information into your EHR, saving your administrative staff time.
- Telehealth: Again, convenient access is key. There are instances where an in-person visit isn’t needed. For those times, having telehealth available could keep your patients seeing you rather than a standalone telehealth provider.
- Convenient payment options: Today’s patients carry a much higher responsibility for their care costs than in the past. These patients are also largely accustomed to the convenience of paying bills online. You are likely to get paid much more quickly if you have some sort of ePayment solution in place.
While patients’ priorities and manner in picking providers may have shifted over the recent past, this doesn’t have to translate to difficulty in maintaining a solid patient population for your practice. At Henry Schein MicroMD, we know how important it is to value patient engagement and that’s why we offer hand-picked, fully-vetted solutions for each of these must-haves as part of our Solutions Central Partners. From DemandForce for marketing to ensure your online reputation is solid, to MMDengage for online scheduling and digital intake, to medpod for telehealth, and ePayments to provide a convenient way for patients to meet their responsibilities, we have you covered.
To learn more or get started with any of these solutions, visit micromd.com or call 1-800-624-8832 today.
About the author,
Crystal is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. Content creation, social media management, and SEO optimization are just a few of her areas of concentration as she seeks to educate clients and prospects alike about the simple, customizable, and connected solutions we offer at MicroMD.
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