With the increase in demand and consumption of medical services, it is necessary to evaluate which strategies are best for the health industry to be able to absorb all this new demand. And of course, to encompass all this consumerism, it will be necessary to invest more in the digital setting, with hospitals, clinics, and medical offices increasing their "online" presence and supporting the patient to have a good online journey and a good experience.
The concept behind this idea of conscious consumerism within health is the fact that the patient is now the owner and manager of their health permanently, giving them more control. Most healthcare organizations know that they need to adapt to the new consumerism patterns of their patients to survive, mainly for elective and aesthetic procedures, where competition is high.
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What is conscious consumerism in health?
Also called health consumerism, today, healthcare professionals use “health consumerism” to define the patient's conscious choice and responsibility to pay for, and manage their own health more actively. For patients this means that they now have more choices between care based on ethical values, no longer being held hostage by few options in the health market.
The healthcare industry, in general, has well understood the consumerism trend, and for healthcare professionals, this means that patients, having more control over their healthcare lives, are also willing to invest and spend more on it, and with that, doctors and healthcare professionals need to invest in giving their patients (now also consumers) the best possible experience, thus ensuring that the same returns for other procedures and consultations, as well as recommend the services to others.
To improve the patient experience, health professionals must implement new technologies in their daily lives, that make it easier for patients, or consumers, to purchase healthcare services by interacting with the chosen technology. Clear and transparent pricing, for example, makes the patient feel more secure about how much he will spend on some health treatment even before receiving the bill for it. Among the other technologies that facilitate the daily lives of patients, we can mention some that Ninsaúde Apolo for clinics has, such as online scheduling, confirmation by WhatsApp, E-mail marketing, telemedicine, and digital prescription, among others.
For healthcare professionals who are still shy about digital solutions but want to invest in new technologies, it is necessary to think about three main points: values, accessibility, and experience. Transparency in the values practiced and services with fair market prices, enable the patient to do more healthcare procedures without negatively impacting their finances. The most convenient access to health treatments, such as remote care, leaves the entire process from scheduling an appointment, until the final follow-up, more comfortable for the patient, since he does not need to travel to the clinics. And finally, professionals should focus on the quality of the experience that the patient is having, and measure that quality. For this, it is possible to apply satisfaction surveys that will help to identify all the positive and negative points within the patient's journey.
Patient's online journey
As mentioned above, the search for health treatments and procedures often starts online for the patient, as well as consumers who go to sites like Amazon when looking for something for their home, patients use websites to search for information about medical clinics and healthcare professionals, as well as to schedule an appointment with them, and healthcare professionals need to increase their presence in the digital environment to gain and attract the attention of these consumer patients.
According to Thomas Lee, CMO at Press Ganey and physician in the city of Boston "The patient experience starts when the patient opens their computer and Googles something about the symptoms they are experiencing, or about doctors and clinics they are thinking of going to. We used to think that the patient's experience only started when he walked through the front door or on the phone when he called to schedule an appointment, but now it starts over the internet."
By December 2022, according to Press Ganey data, patients will visit at least three websites before scheduling an appointment, for this reason, health professionals and clinics must make enough information available on their websites and social networks. Making sure the practitioner and clinic assessment information, location, and forms of contact are updated and posted clearly, making it easier for the patient to understand and ensuring that he gets in touch.
Opening the digital "door" to increase consumerism
As patients become more consumers, they demand more interaction with their doctors, and in different ways. Technologies that deliver patient engagement tools and other facilities are the answer to this need for interaction.
Today, when a person browses a website like Amazon or an app like Uber, she expects a certain level of convenience and ease in choosing products or choosing which car she wants to use, the same goes for healthcare. With clinic management software, such as Ninsaúde Apolo, As a healthcare professional, you have already taken the lead and can offer several facilities for your patients. Ninsaúde Apolo now has a Customer Relationship Management - CRM that allows you to be more organized and make more sales for your patients, both old and new patients.
In the end, being able to find patients where they are is much more than just seeing them and using your marketing, it's about the results and the loyalty of these patients. The software allows healthcare teams to care for their patients where they are and still deliver the same or better results than if the patient had to travel to the clinic for care. There is also the issue that today, much more data can be shared with healthcare professionals, in an easier, faster, and safer way. And so that this data exchange does not overload any part, it is necessary to use a platform where the patient feels safe and comfortable.
As Chris Zant head of ConvergeHEALTH "Patients are happy to share their personal health information when they know it will be used and stored securely, and that they will get a good return on it." Large commercial companies are specialized in this type of exchange, where they make clear the advantages that the consumer patient will have. And in healthcare, the same can be applied, describing what the data will be used for and what they are needed for to improve the patient experience.
Within this use of information, the patient can raise questions such as "can this give me direct access to talk to my doctor?, can it help me make an appointment without spending 20 minutes on the phone?, can you share my symptoms with the doctors who see me without me having to keep repeating them, and that remind me of when I started reporting them?"
With Ninsaúde Apolo for medical clinics, you can deliver all this to your patients and much more. Share with friends and keep following the blog for more content like this. Do you own a clinic but still don't use management software? Meet the Ninsaúde Apolo.