PatientWay Blog

Patients want it. Do you have it?

Written by Jay Lawrence on January 14th, 2013. Posted in Electronic medical records, Healthcare Technology, Patient Self-Service

M 0641 Patients want it. Do you have it?By Jay Lawrence, CEO, PatientWay

At PatientWay, we operate on the belief that patients are the most under-utilized resource in healthcare.

Why? Because as a group, the very people who your healthcare organization serves have the potential to:

  • reduce long registration line-ups,
  • decrease the potential for patient data mistakes, and
  • free up time for staff to conduct high-value activities.

And great news: patients actually want to be used.

In fact, 90% of patients in an Accenture 2012 report state that they want to self-manage their healthcare through technology.

Self-service: patient demand growing

It therefore shouldn’t come as a surprise that patient demand for self-service—the ability to serve oneself—is on the rise.

After all, such technology offers flexibility and convenience in many other parts of peoples’ lives, allowing them to do things like:

  • withdraw money from an ATM,
  • scan items at the grocery store,
  • print off flight boarding tickets, and
  • rent DVDs through automated kiosks.

In his book High Tech, High Touch Customer Service, author Micah Solomon attributes this growing trend to peoples’ quest for autonomy. As people grow more used to augmenting human service providers with self-service options, so too do their expectations that all industries—including healthcare—will provide that channel.

In other words, today’s patients expect to receive the same level of convenience that they are used to receiving from other industries.

The next few years in healthcare

We are seeing a growing trend in healthcare as more and more hospitals and physician practices adopt new technologies, including check-in kiosks and patient web portals.

Moreover, 89% of doctors in 2011 either had, or were planning to have, electronic health records in place by 2013.

An EHR/EMR system will certainly continue to drive the adoption of complementary applications—such as self-service—to streamline other processes including patient registration and check-in.

Still think patients don’t want it?

If you haven’t implemented or even considered self-service technology for fear that patients don’t want it, you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Consider the following from a 2009 survey: 70% of Americans are more likely to choose a healthcare provider that reduces frustration by providing the flexibility to interact easily via online, mobile and (self-self) kiosk.

As Solomon puts it in his book, “Self-service isn’t just the wave of the future; it’s the reality of the present. Embrace it—your customers already have.”

Jay Lawrence

Jay Lawrence is the CEO of PatientWay, a leading provider of patient self-service technology and process improvement services.  Jay's vision of bringing measurable cost and time efficiencies to health care organizations, while improving patient and staff satisfaction, is quickly being realized as leading providers such as Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Southlake Regional Health Centre and the Stronach Cancer Care Centre, are just a few of the many that have adopted PatientWay technology. Jay is a recipient of the Ottawa Business Journal's Forty under 40 Award in 2009, Industry Canada Innovation Leader also in 2009, and Chair of the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) Path to Recognition (PTR) National Steering Committee.

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