Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The day Amazon opened its digital “doors,” the way we shop changed forever. Now, more than half of Americans prefer to shop online. What once may have been a long trek to the store has now turned into the quick click of a mouse. As a result of this shift, Amazon-like convenience across all industries is not only valued, it’s expected. Moving forward, successful health care systems will be those that give convenience-focused consumers what they want – high quality patient care in an easy, accessible way.

How can health care leaders adapt to this emerging patient expectation? Discover how health care systems are leading the way in convenient care.

Seeing Patients on Their Time
“Call today, for an appointment today.” That’s a slogan you’ve hear at the Cleveland Clinic, and is part of the reason that they make over 1 million same-day appointments each and every year. This offers an unparalleled convenience for patients and also helps to break the perception that large health care systems are difficult to get into.

Image: health care providers greeting each other with a hand shake

Other health care systems, such as Atrius Health, have expanded their night and weekend hours at existing locations to accommodate those who work during the day and families with children in school.

Using Technology to Foster Convenience
Just as you can log into your Amazon account to view your customer history, patients desire immediate access and availability to health care. Platforms such as Kaiser Permanente’s My Health Manager put health care at the consumer’s fingertips by offering electronic records, online scheduling, digital patient-provider communication, and more. Something as simple as filling out a medical form digitally prior to arriving to the office can significantly reduce wait times and free up staff resources.

Image: elderly female viewing her health care information on a tablet

Furthermore, digital self check-in via a tablet or a kiosk at a health care facility also provides patient convenience. This process helps to eliminate lobby congestion, streamlines payment collection, offers an added layer of privacy, and allows facility staff to focus on those who need more specialized assistance. Organizations such as Johns Hopkins, Baylor Health, and Cleveland Clinic are leading the way by offering this service.

Bringing Care Closer to Home
The Onsite Employee Health and Wellness Centers™ operated by Johns Hopkins Hospital bring health care directly to patients at one of the most convenient locations possible – their own workplaces. These workplace clinics allow employers to save on health care costs and allow patients to maintain productivity while conveniently bettering their health.

While historically retail clinics, such as those found in CVS and Walgreens, have been thought of as competitors of traditional health care systems, providers are beginning to partner with these clinics to gain new patients and offer a more convenient patient experience. For example, earlier this year, Walgreens and Florida Hospital announced a partnership that allows Florida Hospital to operate and provide health care at 15 retail health clinics in Tampa and Walgreens to open a pharmacy at Florida Hospital Tampa. Alternatively, some health care systems have opted to open their own in-house walk-in clinics that handle common medical non-emergencies.

Not all patients want to or have the ability to be seen in a brick and mortar facility. According to study performed by American Well and Harris Poll, 65% of consumers are interested in seeing their primary care physician via video. Realizing this, health care leaders such as Cleveland Clinic and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina have started to offer comprehensive telehealth services. These innovative technologies, such as virtual appointments, allow patients to be seen everywhere and anywhere offering the ultimate in convenience.

Image: elderly female speaking to a health care provider over a computer using a web cam

Interested in learning more about the power of convenience in health care?
Attend the 2018 PDC Summit session session Amazon’s Convenience Culture Impacting the Health Care Environment to discover how a health care environment focused on convenience can enhance the patient experience.