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Rethink the patient experience—starting with the first digital interaction

July 25, 2022
Artificial Intelligence Health IT
Justin Jacobson
By Justin Jacobson

We’re all accustomed to the simplicity and convenience of the digital interactions we have every day. So much so, that we barely even notice how simple and convenient they are.

When people change a flight reservation, they’re only a few clicks or taps away from booking a new one. When they plan an event with friends or family, a group chat on a messaging app makes it simple to keep everyone in the loop. But when patients interact with their healthcare provider, they’re often thrown back to the old days of waiting in a queue to speak to someone.

The trouble is, the first experience a patient has with any organization sets the tone for the entire relationship. So when they have slow, disjointed, frustrating experiences just trying to book an initial appointment, there’s already a breakdown of trust. That lack of confidence has a corresponding effect on patients’ engagement with their care—and care outcomes.

This is where AI technologies can have a powerful impact, creating a “digital front door” that brings empowerment and efficiency to the patient experience to build loyalty, increase engagement, and improve outcomes. As a bonus, it saves clinical and support staff a lot of time and effort.

A warm welcome at the digital front door
Modern, AI-powered patient engagement technologies enable healthcare organizations to create a great first impression by delivering the frictionless experiences patients expect.

Intelligent automated assistance enables patients to schedule appointments or find answers to questions in their most convenient channel—increasing satisfaction and reducing staff workloads.

Automated appointment reminders allow patients to confirm, cancel, or reschedule in real-time on the same channel as the notification—reducing no-shows and optimizing schedules to increase patient access.

Digital registration and orientation let patients provide intake information and prepare for appointments anytime, anywhere—helping them feel welcomed and valued.

While good first impressions are critical, it’s also essential that the digital front door stays wide open throughout the patient journey.

For example, automated support for FAQs and routine inquiries like patient portal account activation or password resets makes life easier for patients while making Patient Access Center and help desk staff more readily available for complicated or sensitive issues.

Proactive outreach can also extend far beyond appointment reminders. AI-powered solutions can send helpful communications about preventive care, visit follow-up actions, and care plan adherence, helping increase patient engagement and accountability.

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