COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation in the healthcare industry, as medical practitioners and pharmaceutical companies rush to manage growing patient/consumer demand.
The healthcare industry is adopting a mix of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, big data, and robotic process automation (RPA) technologies to optimize legacy systems and streamline processes for physicians, pharmacists, and patients alike. In addition, these innovations create new customer touchpoints and new opportunities to improve the customer experience (CX) from end to end.
Amid the race to innovate, companies in the healthcare space face the challenge of maintaining or enhancing their CX across several new channels, leading to rapid growth in the use of digital CX solutions and services. Here are some of the most valuable and impactful digital solutions disrupting the industry today.
More than 31 million people in the United States don’t speak English, so healthcare providers often find themselves relying on tools like Google Translate to communicate, which can result in important information getting lost in translation.
During the early days of COVID-19, one hospital found that patients who didn't speak much, or any, English had a 35% greater chance of death, with clinicians unable to understand what patients were telling them. As a result, the facility ramped up its remote interpretation capabilities, giving practitioners the ability to instantly engage with their English-limited patients.
Qualified, HIPAA-certified, multilingual interpreters can join live or remote consultations over video or telephone, translating both sides of the conversation in real-time. Not only does this reduce the risk of miscommunication, but the “wow” factor also increases patient/customer loyalty and word-of-mouth reputation in the non-English speaking community.
The social distancing and lockdowns brought about by COVID-19 led to a rise in the use of video conferencing and virtual care for doctors and patients, otherwise known as telemedicine.
While it seemed like a tough sell at the time, the quality of telemedicine services continues to rise, so today’s patients are much more open to remote medical consultations. In fact, 83% of patients expect to use virtual appointments after the current pandemic, according to research by Doctor.com.
Most notably, telemedicine is helping doctors reach isolated, underprivileged, and immobile patients, making medical services accessible to those who need them most. Not only is this a great example of customer experience evolving in the healthcare space, but it’s also a massive plus for humanity itself.
Since COVID-19 hit, healthcare companies have been adopting more AI-powered chatbots to schedule appointments, automate billing, capture patient data, disseminate up-to-date health information, and free up medical staff to prioritize their time on less repetitive tasks.
On the customer side, chatbots represent a convenient, consistent, personalized tool that empowers them to manage their appointments, adjust payment options, learn about any current health threats, and control more aspects of their overall experience with the healthcare provider.
One way healthcare providers are reducing costs, improving efficiency, and boosting CX after COVID-19 is empowering people to take care of themselves.
Products like remote monitoring devices and wearable technology give people a way to live better lives and manage their health. Online portals also make quality health information more accessible, promote health literacy, and provide peer-to-peer support networks for patients.
Still, while self-care solutions are a tremendous front-line tool for filtering patients, healthcare companies need to provide support for those solutions. It’s essential to recruit experienced, knowledgeable customer support professionals who can handle escalated patient queries on channels like voice, webchat, email, SMS, social media, and even carrier pigeon (if that’s what your customers want).
While these digital solutions may have been around for a while, their growth in adoption rates after COVID-19 signifies that they’re here to stay and continuously improving. Healthcare providers that adopt these solutions are actively investing in great customer experience, which will always be necessary, pandemic or no.