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Customer Experience

The future of telehealth: How to deliver the right experience

Telehealth has become a primary source of healthcare for many since the outbreak of COVID-19. And it’s here to stay. So how can we deliver the best possible experiences for patients and providers?

Telehealth has been around for more than a decade now. But there’s been slow adoption for many reasons. Until now. The COVID-19 crisis has propelled telehealth into the limelight, and it’s now our main source of care.

The sweeping changes and relaxed regulations in response to the crisis, have propelled providers to increase telemedicine capacity exponentially.

For example, healthcare provider Teladoc reported 1.8 million visits in Q1 2020 – up 70% from Q1 2019.

On the other side of the country, MedStar’s Booker offers similar statistics.

Telehealth volume at the 10-hospital network jumped from two visits a week to as high as 4,000 in one day, totaling more than 51,700 visits in just the first month. Combined, outpatient and urgent care visits by telehealth increased by more than 500% the week of April 12.

We don’t know what future regulations will look like, and even when a vaccine is available, things are unlikely to go back to the way they were.

Telehealth is here to stay and will be a core strategy in how we care for patients in the future.

As healthcare providers increase their investment in telehealth, the experience they deliver is playing a primary role in driving business outcomes.

What do we need to do?

Driving powerful business outcomes requires organizations to have the technology and competencies to develop a telemedicine experience program that meets a high standard for both patients and providers.

This includes:

  • Improving the overall web and app experiences, through seamless, easy-to-use technology.
  • Boosting patient adoption. Whether that’s account sign-up or completion of visits.
  • Improving digital service delivery helps develop and optimize the virtual care experience which will improve patient loyalty and outcomes.
  • Increasing willingness to return by delivering an extraordinary experience that matches the level of clinical care your team is providing, patients will want to return to telemedicine for their future healthcare needs.
  • Reducing access pressures with tele-appointments to help free up calendar availability allowing access to the care patients need when they need it.

How do we do it?

Organizations need to relentlessly focus on how to improve patient adoption to drive growth and revenue.

However, organizations often have an unclear view of their customers’ telehealth journey and struggle to identify pain points causing dissatisfaction and low-adoption rates.

We need to be able to collect patients' signals across the telehealth journey to understand how to meet their unmet needs.

Here are 3 ways we can do that:

1. Capturing patient experience feedback

This could be with post-transaction listening posts. For example, in a typical telehealth journey, a team might set up targeted listening to understand the care experience and identify key pain points that are driving low CSAT and high abandonment.

2. Understanding the key drivers of low patient satisfaction and decreased adoption

One way of doing this is by using tools such as Key Driver and Text Analysis, which can help to highlight patient frustration – such as long wait times or a lack of information about their bills.

3. Prioritizing focus areas that will deliver the greatest impact on outcomes and brand perception

Focus Areas indicate the highest business impact is by improving the check-in journey, specifically registration. Feedback on care experience is categorized and automatically routed to the right frontline teams for resolution.

The future of telehealth

The outcomes of these insights and recommended actions result in increased adoption rates, willingness to return to telemedicine and increased patient experience satisfaction. All of which translate to improved clinical and business outcomes.

Right now is a critical time for healthcare providers. There are challenges involved in delivering seamless telehealth experiences. But there are also countless opportunities to deliver extraordinary experiences – for both patients and providers.

Improve the telehealth experience with the Qualtrics Digital XM Solution for Telehealth