Beyond Patient Intake: Trends in Digital Healthcare Experience
Last week we examined an important, but often overlooked aspect of the patient experience – the patient intake process. Critical in nature to obtain the necessary information required for diagnosis and treatment, yet almost destined to be redundant and frustrating due to record-sharing limitations and healthcare privacy requirements. Today we take a deeper dive into the intake process of today, and how it may be evolving the industry in ways that will soon take over other aspects of the patient process.
EHRs continue to evolve, other players look to get in.
In a past look at EHRs, we talked about how most of the major players in electronic health record systems are investing in their platforms in preparation for explosive growth. As this evolution continues to take place, other players are jumping in to help these platforms expand. One such example is Cerner, who has partnered with Lumeris, a health plan and managed services vendor, and Salesforce, the leader in cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software. As we’ve discussed before, service offerings like our Curae solution can be integrated upstream in the intake process, providing an array of financing options to a patient before they may even be thinking about what their needs there may be. It’s that type of smart data collection, coupled with new advances that make it highly likely the healthcare technology space will look much different than it does today.
Millennials re-setting the expectations bar.
While much maligned for everything ranging from a short attention span to unrealistic expectations around career advancement, millennials have also helped usher in the age of healthcare consumerism. With a growing number of millennials aging into the healthcare marketplace, they bring with them a demand for a better experience. Much like we have seen this group flock to services like Uber, Airbnb, Carvana, and others that have ‘disrupted’ a traditional way of obtaining goods and services, they will also be looking to choose healthcare providers who fit that lifestyle as well. When designing patient intake procedures, think about those you know who fall into the 18-34 age group. How would they respond to your process? Would they find it to be a positive experience or a frustrating one?
What’s coming next?
Truth be told, no one can predict what’s going to happen next. That said, if the recent past is any indication, we’re likely to see digital enhancements go from the waiting room into the examination room in ways that may not have been imaginable a few short years ago. For starters, the examination rooms of tomorrow are more likely to look like the lobby area of a swanky hotel than the utilitarian spaces of yesterday and today. Devices being utilized will also likely change, as many of today’s medical spaces still feature a single, stationary desktop computer for all data entry, whereas in the future we’ll likely see more tablets and portable technology. In short, a technology-enabled patient experience that stretches end-to-end should become the norm rather than the exception.