Artificial intelligence can help health systems prioritze patient satisfaction and experience.
Photo/Thumb have been modified. Courtesy of National Cancer Institute.
Healthcare is changing at a more rapid pace than ever before. From ongoing growth in small practice acquisition and “minute clinics” to the shift in patient expectations, healthcare organizations are facing never-before-seen challenges. The biggest problem may be that the resources of facilities are stretched as they take on more patients, but to prevent losing them, organizations need to give even more attention and personalized care to patients to ensure satisfaction.
The Patient-Provider Relationship study revealed that one in three patients were at risk of leaving their provider. Many cited dissatisfaction with their experience and service as the reason for leaving. Another survey from the Physicians Foundation found that 20% of patients were thinking about switching providers and 30% said it was because of service issues.
In addition, more and more patients are looking for a better digital experience. In fact, in one study, more than 60% of patients said digital services played an important role when choosing a physician. And in another study, nearly half of patients surveyed said they would choose a provider who offered digital services over one who did not. Specifically:
It’s no wonder many organizations are prioritizing patient satisfaction and experience. Focusing on these elements can strengthen relationships and build trust and loyalty. Many are looking to artificial intelligence (AI) as one of the main ways they may be able to turn the tide on patient switching and improve the overall experience for patients while relieving some of the burden on staff.
Ninety-four percent of respondents in a survey said they believed AI was the most reliable path toward equitable, accessible and affordable healthcare and 36% said they expected AI to improve the patient experience.
Why does AI hold the power to improve patient experience? Simple. The AI that is available today is mostly narrow AI. The technology is great for automating mundane, repetitive tasks, or “narrow” functions like responding to inquiries and directing patients to the right place. When these things are simple and seamless, they can create a more responsive experience for patients, which builds trust and loyalty. This can help reduce incoming phone calls as well as some of the outbound tasks like filling open appointments.
There are many ways to use AI today for simple patient experience needs:
For many healthcare facilities, these tasks are done manually or require manual follow up. That can mean it takes longer, is less effective and leaves the facility at risk for mistakes. In turn, it can be a less than ideal experience for patients and staff. Using AI improves these tasks, but more importantly, it frees staff to focus on improving the in-person experience for patients. That is the surest way to build loyalty.
About the Author: Josh Weiner is the CEO of Solutionreach. He joined Solutionreach from Summit Partners, a leading global growth equity firm. Through his work with Summit Partners, Josh served on the Solutionreach board of directors for three years. Josh is a graduate of Stanford University and resides in Salt Lake City with his wife, daughter, and golden retriever Willow (who often makes cameos at the Solutionreach office). Connect with him on LinkedIn.
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