How to Create Streamlined and Consumer-Friendly Healthcare

Self-service society

There is no doubt the transformation has begun with our rapidly becoming self-service society. Need to buy groceries? Many large supermarket chains today offer self-checkout lines. Going to a concert, sporting event, or the movies? You can purchase (and print) tickets at kiosks at the theater or online if you don’t want to wait in the long lines. The healthcare industry is no different, and hospitals are following suit.

Consumerized patient portals

Healthcare systems are not giving up on portals. There is renewed momentum emphasizing a consumerized approach to patient engagement. Applying best practices learned from other industries, such as how airlines have successfully implemented online check-in portals is possible. The McKinsey survey results cited above supports how health systems are investing in capabilities that provide value to patients and shift administrative tasks from being done onsite to being completed in a portal online. This consumer-focused approach is driving adoption of patient portals.

Achieving better clinical outcomes

Often what defines a better patient experience involves the overseeing of unique patient needs. It typically incentivizes patients and their families or other caregivers to become more engaged in their own health outcomes. In fact, experts agree that better clinical outcomes come about when there is more emphasis placed on the patient experience. For example, one medical center, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), did just that by focusing on increasing patient and family engagement. Low and behold, the center saw medication errors decrease by 62%, falls decrease by 40%, and lengths of stay decrease by 50%.4

In summary

The healthcare industry is undergoing a radical transformation, powered by increasingly adamant customer expectations and a fundamental shift in payment and reimbursement structures. The transition from volume-based to value-based care will require more significant changes than just administration and billing, it will mean an entirely new paradigm for how healthcare is conceived, delivered, and measured. Despite these challenges, it also presents an opportunity to refocus attention on the people served and work toward the health and wellness of our communities.

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