Technology: A key to patient satisfaction?

April 10, 2016

Here is an analysis of trending technologies and how they affect patient satisfaction.

Patients are the key driving force of today’s consumer-driven healthcare market. Whether it’s the caregiver one chooses from healthgrades.com or a facility chosen from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid star ratings, patient satisfaction marks the future of this highly dynamic and competitive industry.

Samydurai

As for health plans, apart from patient satisfaction, member satisfaction is also a key success factor driving the NCQA Health Plan Insurance Rankings,Medicare’s Plan Quality and Performance Ratings, and other similar ratings systems.

In the current connected age, both factors play a key role for the success of healthcare providers and payers.

Providers are finding ways to quickly improve their patient satisfaction by relentlessly investing and involving themselves in an overwhelming use of technology.

Has this increased use of technology impacted their patient satisfaction, as intended? To best find out, let’s pick a few of the trending technologies used by the providers and payers, and analyze how it has helped the industry enable increased consumer satisfaction.

Wearable technology

Wearable technologies are a supplement and enabler for continuous monitoring, made possible by professional-grade wearable medical technologies.

International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that wearables shipments will surpass 200 million in 2019, with 70% of these primarily used for fitness tracking. This statistic showcases an increased preference of these devices to be used for healthcare purposes among patient populations.

Meanwhile, a 2015 survey by Salesforce  shows that 63% of millennials would be interested in proactively providing their health data from WiFi/wearable devices to their doctor/provider so they can monitor their well-being. This shows an increased liking of the patients to use technology and share their health data with providers.

Next: Predicting a patient's future

 

Preventive health and wellness programs

By taking advantage of the overwhelming historical patient health data available, organizations are building highly complex technology systems and applications to crunch these huge volumes of data to predict a patient’s future health possibilities, while also suggesting lifestyle and wellness programs.

Doctor on app

There are an increasing number of mobile doctor connect apps in the market, and statistics clearly indicate a marked rise in patients’ interest in using advanced technology to get continual care.

Another survey from Salesforce.com also says that 71% of millennials would be interested in a doctor/provider giving them a mobile app on their smartphone/tablet to actively manage their well-being for preventative care, review health records, schedule appointments. This clearly shows that population is moving toward using mobile apps just not for fun, but to use them for preventive case and schedule management etc.

Scheduling, financial updates

The growth of such websites as Zocdoc.com and healthgrades.com provides seamless connectivity with a doctor’s office for scheduling or canceling a visit, with the feature available 24 hours.

Increasing users on Zocdoc for appointments, and exponential growth for doctor rating samples in healthgrades.com shows how patient lifecycle is intertwined with day-to-day use of web technology and patients’ increased satisfaction by embracing technology for their healthcare needs.

Appeals and grievances

Customer feedback determines the success of any organization. Healthcare organizations rely on technology for collecting, analyzing, and responding to feedback in an accelerated time to ensure patient satisfaction, thanks to the large population of patients using personal connected devices.

Payers have also started spending millions on building systems that could manage accelerated feedback collection and resolution.

By and large, patient satisfaction has become a focus in this consumer-driven healthcare industry, and patients are taking every advantage of this to get better healthcare.

This is only a beginning and it’s going to get exponential, similar to the major transformation of mere mobile phones into smart devices within a short span of a decade.

Kuzhalan Samydurai, is manager, business consulting, Virtusa. He has helped lead healthcare organizations for more than a decade by providing IT solutions for their complex business problems, enabling their growth and making them complaint with the industry regulations.