Monday, February 20, 2017
By: Tammie Lunceford, CPC Healthcare Consultant with Warren Averett LLC
As we meet with clients and evaluate the trends affecting the day to day growth of the practice, it is evident that technology is an important consideration. In the past, physicians relied on referrals from other physicians to keep new patients entering the practice. Once the millennial leaves the pediatric physician, the process they utilize to seek treatment may now be vastly different than it was a few years ago.
Smart phones have allowed millennials to utilize the web in seeking medical treatment based on convenience rather than a valued relationship. Your website must be sleek, mobile-friendly, and allow users to get location maps and contact information. If your website is outdated and a mobile phone can’t be utilized to find information in 30 seconds, they’ll move to another website. Millennials are more likely to engage with applications such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest than emails and blogs.
Millennials are interested in health and wellness, and they are looking for value and a healthcare organization they can relate to—a genuine brand that is doing something to make a difference. Communication is key. A phone system that directs a patient to a voicemail box will drive patients away from a practice. A patient portal is a vital tool to enable secure messaging, appointment scheduling and live chats. A patient kiosk is helpful in expediting check-in, even better is an app which allows patients to check-in and pay a co-pay before leaving home.
Access to care is essential in capturing a millennial as a patient. Conveniences such as, drive through windows, remote controls and the internet have allowed us to get almost anything quickly. There is tremendous competition in access to care with the growth of urgent care on every corner and the rapid evolution of telemedicine. Practices must be able to offer immediate access instead of expecting that the patient fit into the strict schedule of the practice. Extending practice hours, expanding service, and making your practice accessible to potential patients through the use of mobile technology is part of the formula for keeping your practice healthy with new patients.