Identifying Roadblocks in the Patient Journey
In a steadily increasing complex and emulous healthcare environment, medical, surgical and allied healthcare practices need to do everything possible to stay ahead of the competition. This goes from acquiring new patients to engaging with and retaining them. This entire patient journey lifecycle begins from the moment a consumer knows they need care.
Contrary to common belief, ensuring a smooth patient journey doesn’t lay solely in the hands of the practitioner. Providing a superior patient experience begins from the moment a patient is aware a need for clinical care exists through to post-care nurture. This involves multiple patient touchpoints with a variety of elements and employees, all of which can powerfully impact the relationship between healthcare consumer and healthcare provider.
Positive Patient Experiences
Positive patient experiences can only be created when comprehensive patient profiles are built around an in-depth understanding of how, why and when prospective and existing patients decide to engage a particular healthcare service. This, in combination with learning their behaviours during and after a clinical care experience, enables the streamlining of automated workflows, thereby reducing administrative overheads while building excellent patient outcomes.
Identifying roadblocks in the patient journey can only be accomplished with the aid of well designed healthcare marketing efforts using sophisticated marketing automation technology. The data driven insights produced over five key patient journey phases enables the identification of potential barriers to optimum patient care. When correctly utilised, this information can be used to build enduring practitioner-patient relationships by driving the healthcare consumer seamlessly from one phase to the next.
Five Key Phases
This occurs when a prospective consumer or an existing patient becomes aware of the need for care for themselves or a loved one. Being better able to reach a patient when they know they need care involves a clear strategy of having branded educational assets and information about your services on hand, and making them available to new leads.
This is where a new patient lead begins searching for a suitable healthcare provider to meet their needs. Existing patients may look to your brand to determine if you can help address their need. A variety of virtual touchpoints could be used to attract and acquire this lead – your website, social media ads, calls to your clinic and blog articles. Understanding your ideal customer and knowing which touchpoints they use to engage your services is critical to positioning your marketing efforts where they are searching so as to make it is as easy as possible for them to book in with you.
3. Pre-care conversion
This is where they have chosen you as their provider, for example, where they have engaged with a call-to-action (CTA) on your website or called your practice to schedule an initial consultation. Learning what drove them to choose your organisation is the essence of keeping them satisfied and making them “stick”. Sending them relevant, useful information and maintaining timely contact is essential to a successful conversion and in preventing competitor switch.
4. Point of care engagement
This phase is about more than bombarding a patient with marketing material. Patient engagement involves empowering your patient to make informed decisions about their health by providing them with informative material in conjunction with physician advice. This type of collaborative approach helps build a relationship based on trust. The investment in the betterment of their own health outcomes has been proven to improve the entire patient experience, reduce no-shows, increase revenue and improve patient retention.
5. Post-care nurture
As is the case with any patient to physician encounter, the aim is ultimately to better your patient’s quality of life. This phase focuses on timely follow-ups, communicating ongoing recommendations and ensuring your practice remains at the forefront of their minds. When they next have a need for your service, make it easy for them to schedule in their next appointment.
Creating the perfect healthcare experience for patients and consumers is not beyond the realms of possibility. By studying the patient journey and identifying any obstacles your patients may or have encountered during any phase of the customer lifecyle, you gain insights which you can then analyse and utilise to coordinate a frictionless digital patient journey.
Learn more about Siliceous Solutions and how our medical practice marketing automation service can help you save time, create seamless patient experiences, improve patient outcomes and increase revenue.