As the Journal of Patient Experience notes, healthcare organizations in the United States are increasingly shifting focus to how they can deliver superior patient experience. Whether it’s establishing a personalized clinical bedside care to spearheading sustainable improvements in medical care quality, every effort to improve patient experience contributes to the success of a healthcare organization.
Marketing automation tools like Marketing Cloud streamline healthcare marketing, and have become a powerful option for improving the patient journey. From awareness and research to consultation, treatment, follow-up, and ongoing care, automation tools play a crucial role in shaping the patient experience at every step. Automation also powers personalized engagement, leading to better conversions.
Let’s dig into the link between patient experience and ROI.
What Is Patient Experience?
Patient experience refers to the sum total of interactions a patient has with a health care system. They not only influence perceptions of the care they received, but also the health outcomes they experience. Aspects that impact patient experience include timely appointments, information accessibility, and ease of interaction with health care providers. Generally, any interaction with doctors, nurses, administrators, pharmacists, insurance agents,or office workers impacts the overall patient experience.
Sometimes patient experience and patient satisfaction are used interchangeably, though the concepts differ in an important way. While patient experience focuses on all patient encounters with the healthcare system, patient satisfaction is more subjective. It refers to how well a patient’s expectations are met during an encounter.
In other words, patient experience is an indicator of healthcare service quality, while patient satisfaction is a measure of a patient’s contentment with the care received.
What Is Automation in Healthcare Marketing?
Automation refers to the use of technology to power marketing campaigns and personalize patient engagements. It uses data to target patients with customized messages and engage them based on their stage in the patient journey.
Whether a patient is at the awareness and research stage, treatment and follow-up, or ongoing care, marketing automation allows you to engage them and guide them to the next step. For instance, you can automate scheduling to encourage prospective patients to reach out to you, appointment reminders, patient feedback forms, and more.
Marketing automation can yield many benefits, including a simplified sales process and improved patient engagement – saving resources and boosting marketing ROI.
Benefits of Patient Experience and the Impact on ROI
Better patient experience should be a key goal for healthcare providers as it’s directly linked with revenue generation. Creating better patient experiences is a step towards patient-centered care, which in return enhances patient satisfaction and boosts revenues.
Some notable benefits of better patient experience include:
- Reduced Readmissions
According to Fierce Healthcare1, readmissions cause hospitals $41.3 billion in additional costs. Furthermore, it’s clear that better patient engagement and clear communication are crucial factors in reducing readmissions.
Creating better patient experiences focuses on delivering quality and personalized care, among other aspects of the patient journey. Health providers associated with offering superior patient experiences benefit from an improved reputation. Moreover, satisfying patients’ expectations earns their loyalty and increases referrals.
Higher patient engagement
Prioritizing patient experience in your service delivery encourages better engagement as the patients feel supported on their journey.
Better health outcomes
One of the areas patient experience focuses on is improving health outcomes. Enhancing patient engagement encourages them to take ownership of their health and participate in decision-making, which is crucial in improving health outcomes.
Better bottom line
Focusing on bettering the patient experience not only leads to improved reputation and health outcomes. Patient experience boosts profitability due to patient loyalty, a stronger brand reputation, lower readmissions, and better utilization of healthcare services from increased referrals.
How to Use Marketing Automation to Improve Patient Experience
You can leverage marketing automation to improve the patient experience in various ways. Here are a couple of strategies to get you started.
Automating Patient Referrals
If your patients are happy with their experience, they will likely recommend your services to family and friends. You can make the process easier by creating a referral program. There are various referral management solutions that you can use to run the program. For instance, you can send a survey or review to solicit patient feedback, then sample the positive reviewers and request them to refer family members and friends.
Automating Email and Text Messaging
Effective communication is critical to the patient experience. There are email and text messaging tools you can use to automate your communications and deliver important messages more conveniently. For instance, you can broadcast promotional messages and announcements, send appointment reminders, and more. Consider software with a two-way messaging feature to allow patients to respond so that you can provide immediate feedback.
Automating Physician Referrals
Similarly, you can use referral management software to connect with other healthcare practices to make patient referring easier amongst yourselves. This way, you can conveniently exchange information on patient appointments and medical records, making the process easier for those referred in and out of your practice.
Automating Online Listings Management
The accuracy of your online listing is crucial to a higher search engine ranking, which helps direct patients to your practice. Inconsistency not only affects your performance on search, but it can lead to a poor patient experience, especially for those at the awareness and research stage. Thankfully, there are tools you can use to search and manage your online listings to ensure consistency of vital data such as your address, services offered, phone number, and office hours.
Automating Feedback Collection Using AI-Powered Sentiment Analysis
Once you collect patient feedback through surveys and reviews, you can use artificial intelligence tools to help you with sentiment analysis. This saves you time and improves the effectiveness of your feedback-gathering efforts as you can quickly identify your weak areas and optimize them to boost the overall patient experience.
Start Creating Superior Patient Experiences to Drive Better ROI
Better patient experience is undoubtedly one of the core elements of healthcare business profitability. From improved reputation to higher patient engagement, better outcomes, and less readmissions, creating positive patient experiences is crucial to generating ROI.