Patients want it. Do you have it?
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.
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.
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.”