We’re picking up the pace as we emerge from the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic and healthcare practice leaders across the nation are now acutely aware that their returning patients are demanding more of their customer experiences.
The traditional waiting room model, for example, now seems antiquated and draconian. Patients never felt comfortable sitting in a crowded space, exposed to other ill people, but after a pandemic, they feel even less so. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 74% of respondents rated their typical waiting room experience as fair or poor. That’s a pretty bleak percentage – with the onus of making improvements to the patient intake process now landing squarely on the practice door transom.
Some providers ask, in light of pandemic-inspired innovations such as telehealth, is there any practical reason to invest in patient intake upgrades that involve the office? Won’t most patients continue to take advantage of telehealth services? The answer is, not necessarily.
While it’s true that telehealth provided an invaluable service during the pandemic and is likely to still be in use, a recent Avtex survey found 63% of polled patients revealed they still
want to engage in-office visits with their physicians.
Along with an in-person relationship with their physician, better and more open communications as well as personalized service were top amenities on the post-pandemic patient wish-lists.
Post-COVID, for patients and providers alike, safety is a critical component of a quality healthcare experience. By promoting a safe environment in the waiting room, you can improve patient satisfaction, your reputation, and your ability to deliver quality care.
Here are three ways to improve the waiting room experience and meet (or exceed) your patients’ expectations.
1. Minimize Time Spent in Waiting Rooms
Obviously, the best way to keep your waiting room safe is by minimizing the time patients spend in waiting rooms. One way to do this is to cover as many in-take procedures ahead of time, online or by phone, so that time spent in the waiting room is minimized.
Minimizing risk of in-person patient exposure was one of the biggest obstacles for healthcare providers during COVID-19. Practices were tasked with finding innovative ways to minimize in-person contact while still delivering top-quality healthcare. Some resorted to iPad and Kiosk stands – though many patients found the communal “tactile” nature of these options a bit off-putting during COVID.
That’s why virtual waiting room solutions like Yosi Health allow providers to avoid long patient wait times, minimize in-office crowding, and needing to touch screens used by others. By collecting and verifying required forms prior to appointments, using a convenient mobile-phone interface, providers eliminate the need for all that in-office, in-person paperwork.
2. Implement Telehealth Practices
In one recent survey, more than three-quarters of healthcare providers surveyed say telehealth helped them provide quality care to patients during COVID-19—and 70% are motivated to use more telehealth because of their positive experience during the pandemic.
One provider shared, “We were so inundated with patients, for a full month, we had people booked out for telemedicine appointments,”. “What was so great about Yosi was that 95% of these people we’d never seen before, so we made it mandatory for them to get their registration done beforehand.” Using Yosi Health in combination with telehealth services results in a streamlined experience that eliminates most of the pain-point previously encountered by both patients and practices.
And while telehealth will continue to be a convenient resource, patients still want the intimacy of an in-person relationship with their physicians.
3. Virtual Waiting Room Solution
Probably the single best way to keep your waiting room safe for patients and providers alike is by implementing a premier virtual waiting room solution that allows you to streamline the patient check-in process and minimize in-person contact.
By automating and digitizing the administrative aspects of patient management, you can effectively register and check-in patients well before they arrive to your office in person. Not only will a virtual waiting room solution eliminate the need for physical, in-person forms found in traditional waiting rooms, but will help your staff save time and effort to focus on what matters most: Delivering quality patient care.
With Yosi Health, you get more than a contactless patient intake system. You get:
- Fully Automated, Integrated Patient Registration with Your EMR System
- Appointment Self-Scheduling Capabilities
- Automated Billing & Payment Collection
- Patient Surveys & Review Management
- Comprehensive Telehealth Platform
- 3-Click DMA Management Solution
- …and so much more.