As traditional medical practices and hospital systems continue to see competition from retail healthcare, patient convenience has become the name of the game. Rising out-of-pocket medical costs are driving patients to “vote with their wallets,” Dave Kriesand, Banner Health’s vice president of consumer experience, told PatientEngagementHIT.
Kriesand says a focus on convenience can help traditional providers compete, and digital technology, such as online appointments, can play a pivotal role.
Increased care coordination can also boost patient convenience, especially in larger organizations. That means an integrated health IT system that ensures all clinical staff have access to a patient’s information.
“We want to ensure our customers never have to retell their story no matter where they arrive in our system,” said Kriesand, adding that patients should be able to get their information into such a system easily, which could mean pulling together information gleaned from web portals, emails or social media in addition to traditional health records.
Matching patients and providers properly can drive patient engagement as well and can give providers an edge, said Kriesand: “Finding a provider who meets a consumer’s preference, whether that be by distance, specialty or even ratings/reviews, is critical to ensuring excellent care with an excellent experience.”