2 Digital Practices that Prioritize Patients

Jun 17, 2021 | Communication, COVID-19, Patient Experience, Telehealth, Virtual Care

Patient-centric healthcare is what it sounds like: medical care centered around the needs and desires of the patient. It’s a simple definition that promises to make significant waves in the healthcare industry. While many best practices are being re-established right now, here are two to consider integrating at your facility:

Make Telemedicine Permanent
In the wake of the COVID-19 virus, more types of healthcare and specialties are tapping into the potential of telemedicine. In many ways, “telemedicine” (or “telehealth”) represents the true potential for integrative technologies. It uses existing consumer technologies to facilitate healthcare processes for those who would otherwise not have access except for long-distance travel.

Telemedicine might mean seeing a therapist via FaceTime, conducting medical consultations with international specialists, getting coached through procedures by a remote EMT, or sending DNA sequences to synthesize viruses, living cells, and proteins. Telemedicine limits geographical barriers, boosts medical access to rural areas, and can save lives in urgent situations. Remote services also lower the cost of medical care while bettering medical reimbursement processes.

With such wide-ranging possibilities, hospitals should determine which telemedicine outlets will accommodate their particular demographics, plus the regulatory requirements as part of an overarching effort to help provide better, more convenient care. Instead of treating remote care like a temporary measure during a pandemic, consider making it a permanent option—as a way to keep patients first.

Invest in Mobile Optimization
Your facility’s focus on technology should specifically prioritize the function and opportunity presented by mobile devices. Every year, mobile data use grows in popularity. As today’s consumers look to their devices to facilitate communication and business transactions of all kinds, health systems should embrace this medium and see it as an investment. When patients feel like a provider accommodates their needs and preferences—including something as basic as being mobile-friendly—they are more likely to return for future healthcare needs.

For some, it may simply be a mobile portal to your hospital’s information page with clear links throughout the website. Alternatively, your hospital may consider investing in a more robust smartphone app. Apps can create a personalized, inviting environment from which patients can gather information about facilities, register, make appointments, fill out paperwork, read test results, view ultrasounds and X-rays, transfer medical records to specialists, or even chat with an on-call medical professional.

Depending on the complexity of the app and structure of your project, it can take anywhere from four months to several years to build just one app. Yet, this often cost-heavy investment can save millions in employee workloads. More importantly, the aggregate user data accumulated by an app can provide detailed insight into what your hospital needs to improve or adjust.

These patient-centric practices are a step in the right direction. For a full list of best practices, download this free white paper.