#2: Going beyond metrics, into action.
Healthcare has changed.
The systems in place for decades have, in recent times, evolved much faster than anticipated.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has done much to accelerate this, but it isn’t the only factor. The rise of technology and shifting consumer trends have also influenced the nature of healthcare.
In 2022, these ‘push factors’ will continue to affect healthcare in both predictable and unpredictable ways. Here are six patient experience trends you can expect in 2022 and beyond.
COVID-19 has shown us that modern science is capable of responding to the health challenges of today. It has also shown how fear and mistrust in institutions can lead to poor healthcare decisions. With information easily shareable across social platforms, many find comfort in unsubstantiated conspiracy theories rather than official healthcare sources.
In 2022, the battle against misinformation continues.
Healthcare providers will have to learn how to engage their audiences through the same social channels where misinformation spreads. To do this, they’ll need to understand how these channels work, as well as who their audience really is – what are their fears? What questions do they have? Why do they act a certain way?
Going beyond metrics, into action
With HCAHPS in the US and the NHS Patient Experience Survey in the UK, gathering feedback data on patient care has been a requirement for years. What’s been missing is effective ways of taking action on that feedback data. Much of this inaction has been caused by using ineffective feedback tools. With dwindling response rates for patient and employee surveys, how are healthcare providers expected to be confident in their data?
With real-time feedback tools such as Ombea, the game changes. In 2022, healthcare providers will be able to know immediately where satisfaction issues are coming from, enabling them to act quickly and decisively. Real-time feedback tools will help providers go beyond metrics and into action, improving healthcare for all.
The consolidation of telehealth
In 2021, we saw the explosion of telehealth services. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, people became reticent to visit doctors’ offices, pushing them to use online technologies instead. From doctors’ appointments to prescription management, the world learned that technology is instrumental in ensuring quality healthcare now and in the future.
In 2022, we can expect telehealth services to become more efficient. We can also expect patients to demand a hybrid experience when it comes to their healthcare. For example, most consultations might be held by video conferencing tools, but more serious medical conversations could be had face-to-face at the doctor’s office.
Patients will also expect telehealth services to be personalized the same way in-person visits are uniquely tailored to them. This will be a significant challenge for providers, as there might be thousands of patients requesting services from a limited number of providers.
This highlights the importance of omnichannel feedback for 2022. On-site patient exit surveys are no longer enough; now you have to also measure online services. Omnichannel real-time feedback tools like Ombea can help here.
Real-time employee feedback for staff resilience
With the surge in hospitalizations brought about by the pandemic, we have seen staff pushed to the limit. While most have been able to cope, some healthcare systems have collapsed. In 2022, healthcare staff will be asked to once again give their best when having to deal with a high number of patients.
To assess whether or not a healthcare institution will be able to cope with a surge in hospitalizations, it will need to measure staff morale and energy. Real-time feedback tools will prove instrumental in this case. By capturing anonymous staff feedback through a smiley terminal or via staff mobile devices, hospital administrators will be better positioned to act when people need extra help.
The prevalence of self diagnosis
In 2021 and previous years, the rise of the internet brought with it more accessible medical information. Instead of having to book expensive appointments with healthcare providers, patients could just google their symptoms and self-diagnose. While much of this information comes from reputable sources such as the Mayo clinic or the NHS, a lot comes from unverified sources.
In 2022, more people will search online in an attempt to diagnose their own conditions. While it’s impossible to stop patients from searching online, healthcare providers can take steps to become part of the self-diagnosis process. Instead of chastising patients for searching online, providers can clarify the information found online, enabling smooth cooperation between patient and provider.
In 2022, the importance of improving engagement with patients will be a challenge, but real-time patient feedback tools will help.