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Healthcare organizations must reimagine the patient experience to thrive

September 03, 2021
Business Affairs Health IT

Convenience and choice
A healthcare contact center, then, must offer a seamless and unified patient experience that facilitates engagement across multiple channels and ensures that patients receive the care, transparency, and health guidance they expect from trusted providers. But what would such a contact center look like from the perspective of a patient? Not surprisingly, fast and effective support are top priorities: 84% of respondents said it is important that their customer service issues are resolved quickly and accurately.

The survey also shows that healthcare consumers want convenience and choice, with 78% agreeing that it is important to be able to engage with healthcare systems on their preferred channels. Nearly as many (74%) said their preferred channel varies depending on the context of the support issue. So again, choice and flexibility are PX priorities.

For providers, a modern contact center must transcend the limitations of on-premises systems. More than half (57%) of PX professionals responding to the survey said on-premises systems limit their organizations’ ability to deliver a superior PX. Slightly more (58%) reported having multiple contact centers supporting different groups in their businesses, while 60% said they don’t consider their contact centers to be omnichannel.

For multi-site contact center operations, a cloud-based platform eliminates the need for multiple on-premises system deployments. Further, it enables providers to offer comprehensive support in a way that is simple and convenient for patients. Such a platform ensures a unified PX that is unmarred by fragmentation and inefficiency.

In addition to leveraging agility and scalability, providers also want a contact center with automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to help them better understand patient needs. And for good reason: 75% of patients are more loyal to providers that invest in improving their PX.

Though meeting customer needs as a business necessity is a great motivator, providers increasingly view the contact center not merely as a platform for issue resolution, but as an enabler of care coordination. AI can be used to keep track of a patient’s diagnosis, results, treatment, and prescriptions. Twenty-eight percent of providers said they use AI to offer proactive next-best action recommendations to patients via the channel of their choice. Nearly half (46%) said they intend to do so within two years.

Healthcare organizations that unify their digital and in-person experiences are far more likely to earn and keep their patients’ trust, which equates to patient loyalty and retention. A modern, cloud-based contact center can support the unified patient experience both providers and patients seek. In doing so, healthcare entities elevate their role beyond issue resolution to become a command center with powerful analytics and reporting capabilities that enhance patient experience and care coordination. The end result is healthier and happier patients.

About the author: Greg Miller is the vice president of industry strategy, healthcare and life sciences, for Talkdesk.

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