The Results Are In: Patients Definitely Prefer Digital Self-Service
Sometimes it’s nice to have things done for you. Maybe someone made you a delicious dinner or fixed a flat tire on your car.
For many tasks, though, we want a convenient option that allows us to complete them quickly and on our own time. We don’t want to waste time calling businesses and being put on hold or being required to sort through multiple menu options.
As industries like banking and retail continue to offer more self-service options, we have come to expect such capabilities in other industries — like healthcare. No longer does everything have to be done at your provider’s office.
We’ve discussed in previous blogs the benefits of deploying digital self-service. Promoting patient retention, bolstering staff efficiency, and improving access to care are just a few.
The new 2023 Care Access Benchmark Report from Kyruus sheds even more light on the importance of providers offering digital self-service options to patients. In a survey of 1,000 consumers on how they search for, select, and access care today, it’s clear that the majority of healthcare consumers place high importance on being able to conduct appointment-related functions online.
Take a look at just a few of the results from the comprehensive survey:
Percentage of consumers who say the availability of online appointment scheduling is extremely or very important when choosing a new provider, service, or location for care
Percentage of consumers who are extremely or very interested in completing pre-visit questionnaires online
Percentage of consumers who are extremely or very interested in making a payment online
Percentage of consumers who are extremely or very interested in using online tools to provide information and confirm coverage
Percentage of consumers who are extremely or very interested in digitally alerting the front desk staff that they’ve arrived and are waiting to be seen
Popular Digital Health Tools
Only half of patients who call for an appointment are able to book an appointment over the phone on the first try. No wonder online scheduling has become so popular! In addition to providing patients with convenience through 24/7 access to available appointments, online scheduling benefits healthcare providers through labor savings, cost reduction, increased patient satisfaction and engagement, and improved care management and adherence.
Patients also don’t want to waste valuable time at their doctor’s office. By utilizing digital check-in, they’re able to complete the process at their convenience, whether that’s in their car the day of their appointment or a few days prior while watching television.
Digital check-in benefits medical groups by eliminating the need for redundant data entry, negating no-shows and cancellations, reducing costly medical errors, and promoting better coordination of care. It also goes a long way to alleviate the administrative burden plaguing so many healthcare providers.
Some providers don’t consider payment options a priority. More than half of providers still send bills to patients by mail, a slow and outdated process.
Options for online payment result in physician practices being able to reduce accounts receivable and back-end collection costs, increase cash flow, and decrease the administrative burdens of tracking and writing off bad patient debt. Medical groups only collect 50-70 percent of payments once patients leave the office, so utilizing an omnichannel approach ( online, mobile, in-person, email, phone calls) increases the likelihood they’ll follow through with payment.