Covid-19 has changed the way healthcare providers engage with their patients. The social distancing and quarantine protocols and the high infection rate of the virus have significantly reduced the amount of patient footfall to the healthcare providers’ premises. Yet, the need for proper healthcare guidance and treatment has gone up a few notches. In such a situation, healthcare providers are looking for innovative ways of patient engagement by leveraging modern technology. In this evolved patient engagement scenario, healthcare call centers play a significant role in delivering timely and appropriate patient support to improve the patient experience.
Let us look at some of the key patient engagement trends that will impact patient experience in 2022.
1. Healthcare Providers Will Receive Higher Call Volumes
With in-person interactions limited by stay-at-home protocol due to covid-19, patients today have to rely on the call and other communication channels to ask about COVID-19 safeguards, make inquiries about different medical procedures, and schedule appointments. As a result, inbound phone calls to health systems as well as calls to healthcare providers have seen a dramatic increase.
Even with the lockdown restriction eased out, many patients still have restricted their face-to-face interactions owing to various safety concerns. So, it is expected that the call volume will remain a lot higher than it was a few years back as more patients will continue to use phone channels to get information and make doctors’ appointments. Here healthcare call centers can assist healthcare providers with timely and accurate information dissemination through medical answering and appointment setting services.
2. Telehealth Appointments Will Increase
In the past few years, we have seen a rise in telehealth appointments. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated patient adoption of telehealth services. Some of the reputed telehealth providers in the US have reported a 60-80% rise in telemedicine appointments since the pandemic.
To ensure a greater adoption, healthcare providers need to work on creating a seamless patient experience in telehealth. When you can ensure that every stage of scheduling a telehealth appointment is seamless, starting from information dissemination to appointment scheduling to post-appointment follow-up.
An experienced healthcare call center like Ameridial can ensure that every stage of telehealth appointment scheduling goes smoothly and deliver a seamless patient experience along the way. With experts saying that telehealth is likely to be a new avenue of healthcare in the future, joining the telehealth bandwagon and ensuring a seamless patient experience from the start can ensure a greater business success.
3. More Patients Will Engage with Healthcare Providers on Mobile Devices
The mobile device usage to contact healthcare providers, download healthcare apps, and attend telehealth appointments has increased among patients for the past few years. But there has been a dramatic rise in mobile usage in relation to healthcare since 2020, with more patients limiting their in-person interactions with healthcare providers.
Studies show that 58% of smartphone users have downloaded a health app and 62% have used a smartphone to research a health condition. In addition, 85% of patients use their smartphones to contact their healthcare providers. As mobile devices grow in popularity, healthcare providers need to ensure a seamless mobile experience, both online and over the phone, in 2022.
4. Patients Will Demand Seamless Omnichannel Experiences
With the usage of mobile growing exponentially among patients, it is expected that they will look for a seamless omnichannel experience across their journey. To earn their business, healthcare providers will have to ensure that their patients feel valued and known at every step throughout their journey with the brand.
Like consumers, patients today need a positive brand experience to remain loyal to your healthcare brand across all channels. If you fail to provide a seamless experience to your patient, it can increase the risk of losing them to your competitors. Therefore, ensuring a seamless omnichannel experience for your patients is no longer a nice-to-have feature for healthcare providers, it is a must-have requirement standing in 2022. Therefore, partnering with an omnichannel healthcare call center like Ameridial can be your best bait to earn patient loyalty in 2022 and beyond.
5. Information Security is More Important Than Ever
“Since the onset of the pandemic, health care facilities have been among the top targets for ransomware attacks and will likely continue due to a large amount of personal-sensitive data.” – Deloitte
To avoid such data breaches, healthcare providers need to ensure HIPAA compliance across the organization. Having a HIPAA-compliant healthcare BPO as their outsourcing partner can significantly reduce the risk of data theft and ensure better security. Ameridial is HIPAA, PCI, and SOC 2 compliant to protect information at every turn in patient interaction.
The pandemic has majorly affected the healthcare sector, forcing it to find new ways of patient engagement and care. In this new normal, healthcare providers use various communication channels to reach out to their patients, and healthcare BPOs play a major role in this new arrangement. That is why it has become imperative to have a HIPAA-compliant healthcare call center provider with omnichannel and multilingual capabilities to ensure better patient engagement and deliver superior patient engagement.