5 Ways to Improve the Patient Access Experience


The HLTH 2021 conference focused on how the industry can collectively address the health needs of everyone — overcoming Social Detriments of Health (SDoH) through innovation, technology and empathy. Nearly every discussion, presentation and interaction emphasized the need for connection, collaboration and systems of engagement to deliver better patient and member outcomes.

Here are 5 key takeaways for improving care plan adherence and reducing leakage in your health organization’s patient engagement strategy.

  1. Lean Into Voice

Healthcare has done a great job at meeting the needs of those with the most means, but what about those without the digital capabilities and readiness to engage? SDoH from access to care, education, community context, discrimination, economic stability and neighborhoods all influence the patient experience. But the most common channel of communication to engage the largest health population is voice.

Everyone needs access to care, with a commitment to transforming patient experiences with empathetic interactions by meeting patients where they are — and guiding them on a more productive health journey — patient communication strategies should enable digital assets and workflows for those who want to use a phone. Look for a solution with speech capabilities that bring automation, reminders and care adherence messages to those who don’t have access to patient portals or digital health apps. It’s also beneficial to automate routine interactions to reduce the strain on care teams, allowing them to focus on more complex patient needs. Reducing effort to drive up healthcare KPIs and patient-member engagement will improve efficiency and sustainable care.

  1. Expand Your Definition of Omnichannel

For years, patient engagement stakeholders have been talking about omnichannel experiences, moving seamlessly between chat, voice and video interaction channels — with context carried across the different engagement vehicles.  For healthcare, meeting face-to-face as well as direct patient/clinician interactions (including telehealth options) is a critical channel. Capturing what’s said, discovered, prescribed and recommended when a patient is in a clinic or at a pharmacy should also be part of the definition of omnichannel. Every hour of patient contact translates into two hours of reporting and bureaucratic tasks, which is the number one reason for physician burnout.

To deliver a true omnichannel experience, it’s critical to integrate systems of health, claims, CRM systems and member records. This allows patient and member service representatives as well as care teams to see the entire patient journey, regardless of location or channel. It also gives nurses and physicians visibility into interactions and associated analytics of virtual engagements within the patient/member records. Routing inquiries can be based on clinical or member context and intent; virtual care team members have systems of record at their fingertips on device of choice.

  1. Patient Engagement Is a Shared Responsibility and Part of the Healthcare Supply Chain 2.0

Health care organizations are collectively working to drive better outcomes with patient compliance, resulting in a shift from product-centered strategies to patient-centered strategies in Life Sciences organizations like pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Patient engagement around medication compliance and adherence are key indicators in measuring success of pharmaceuticals therapies and these care plans and medications are going to become increasingly personalized. When 22% of US patients take less medication than their prescribed doses, this can cost the healthcare system about $100 billion to $289 billion a year.

These segments see a need for collaboration and communication technologies to interact with payers, providers, patients and their ecosystems — from research to trials, sales, distribution, direct care teams and patient engagement — to safely deliver new therapies to market and digital systems to support care plan compliance and adherence in the new healthcare supply chain.

  1. Mobile, Well-Connected Teams Deliver More Value-Based Care

According to a 2021 Pew Research Study, 97% of Americans own a cell phone and 85% own a smartphone. The patient and care team experience is mobile. Applying cloud-based healthcare technology to payers and providers leads to a shortage in healthcare staff. It also creates an increased focus on how to connect a patient, member or customer to any worker in healthcare to meet their needs. Care teams need predictive routing and metrics as part of these journeys. And their interactions require analytics to understand context, intent and quality of the patient journey with voice analytics. It’s critical to integrate Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) capabilities into mobile apps to deliver necessary better patient engagements.

  1. Provide Consumer-Level Engagement

In today’s healthcare market, the lines between patient experiences and consumer experiences are blurred. Consumer giants like Walmart, CVS and Google are changing the ways in which patients and citizens engage with their health. Consumer-level design thinking is necessary; it allows companies to engage citizens of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

To meet this demand, apply a solution that includes rich analytics, quality metrics and interaction data so you can understand the consumer journey and equips you to deliver a hyper-personalized experience. CRM and other systems of record alone don’t give you a 360-degree, omnichannel view. To tailor health to consumers’ wants and needs, while also improving operations and reducing costs, the solution should allow healthcare teams to understand what’s spoken, provide sentiment analysis and recognize intent across all channels.

Offering empathetic, personalized experiences delivers on the promise the healthcare industry makes to patients, members and care teams. And that creates a better healthcare experience for everyone.