The Future of Healthcare is DigitalNovember 22, 2020
While the world screamed to a halt in an attempt to contain the spread of a new coronavirus, the healthcare industry continued to struggle, facing its own set of unique challenges. Increasing patient volumes, new public safety concerns, and a changing regulatory landscape have forced providers to quickly adopt more efficient (and safer) ways of doing business.
Unlike organizations in other industries, closing store to adjust strategy or training staff to work remotely was not an option for essential healthcare services. Life-saving solutions such as test sites, virtual visits, and online appointment scheduling have been adopted with unprecedented speed.
But providers who have not yet implemented the infrastructure to support a digital practice are struggling to find ways to improve the patient experience and increase operational efficiency. Every day, time and money are lost due to inefficient manual and paper-based processes. The new digital future of healthcare promises providers and patients a safer, more productive practice. It’s time to embrace it.
Why should you digitize your healthcare services practice?
One of the biggest takeaways from the COVID economy is that consumers are used to the ease and speed with which the digital marketplace moves. Healthcare professionals who want to remain competitive are faced with a choice: embrace these evolving patient expectations or risk being left behind.
Freeing your practice from time-consuming manual processes will prepare you for the digital future of healthcare, providing your patients with a safer, simpler, and more personalized healthcare experience.
Here are five reasons why you should put your healthcare services online.
1. Contactless is faster and safer
COVID-19 security precautions have made contactless service a requirement for any modern healthcare organization. Contactless scheduling, virtual visits, and online login to minimize office wait times are just some of the ways professionals are providing patients with a safer environment to receive care, one that will continue to have relevance and value long after the pandemic has passed.
In addition, by putting administrative work on the line, a fully contactless healthcare system streamlines every step in the patient journey, from pre-consultation registration to payment. As a result, people get the critical care they need and healthcare professionals get the patient information they need from admission forms, post-acute surveys and more without getting bogged down in manual processes.
2. Industry-leading customer service starts online
The patient-provider relationship is based on trust, and patients need to feel more than just another number at the door. New digital healthcare solutions offer enhanced communication and care around the clock.
For example, digitizing manual processes allows patients, staff and physicians to complete necessary forms and agreements from the convenience of their phone, computer or tablet, which saves time, reduces errors and creates an easier and safer experience for all parties.
Introducing patient portals to your healthcare practice is another way to enhance your digital infrastructure and patient experience. Whether sending a quick question, requesting a prescription refill, or asking about appointment availability, the ability to send messages directly to providers makes patients feel more connected and in control of their healthcare experience and leads to greater patient retention.
3. Digital transformation expands your operational capacity
Having the operational capacity to meet patient demand is crucial, whether during a healthcare service crisis or a seasonal influx. Even after the pandemic, healthcare practices will face large fluctuations in patient volume due to reasons as varied as seasonal flu or annual back-to-school medical exams. Automating back-office workflows and streamlining patient intake processes gives your staff the headroom they need to deliver exceptional year-round care to more patients in a shorter period of time.
4. Better employee experience improves operational efficiency
Data and contracts are at the heart of all modern industries, including healthcare practices. Confidential information plays a key role in keeping hospital systems running, but outdated software can easily impede your practice’s ability to efficiently deliver quality healthcare services.
Today, healthcare leaders are using advanced digital technology that integrates with existing systems, providing an elegant solution to inefficiencies arising from the use of disparate technology systems. Full integration between state-of-the-art contract lifecycle management (CLM) solutions and other cloud-based IT software (such as Microsoft or its revenue cycle management software) simplifies the day-to-day work of preparing, approving, and securely storing contracts.
As information moves securely across your organization, the right digital infrastructure can also help you turn raw data into clear, actionable insights. CLM software with data analysis functions can help your practice plan for the future or identify risks in existing agreements.
5. Efficiency sets the stage for scalable growth
Automating administrative workflows, streamlining patient admission procedures, and offering telehealth visits decreases the cost of care, improves margins, and increases productivity, but also gives each organization the room it needs to expand. As technologies like electronic signatures and workflow intelligence take the place of inefficient manual contract management procedures, practices gain the freedom and resources they need to plan for the future. Expand your operation to reach new patients or focus on what matters most by providing excellent patient care.