How to adopt the technology your healthcare organization needs to succeed
December 4, 2023
At the same time, patients are demanding a more digital experience — research shows that 26% of patients are willing to switch to a new provider for high-quality digital services.1 Your patients are becoming more tech savvy, and they’ve come to expect a certain level of tech literacy from their providers as well. After all, the right healthcare technology can save clinicians and patients time, drive business efficiencies, and ultimately better patient engagement. When patients receive high-quality care, supplemented by the digital experience they’ve come to expect, they’re more likely to stay with your organization.
Healthcare organizations need to adopt new technologies to more effectively engage patients and provide better care overall. And as risk-based contracts become more widespread, better patient outcomes can also lead to financial success.
Let’s take a look at four ways you can use new healthcare technology to improve patient care, increase efficiency, and achieve your business goals.
Expand access to care and increase appointment availability with telehealth
Since telehealth became a necessity during the pandemic, there has been a 23x rise in telehealth utilization.2 Patients are gaining better access to care through telehealth and are enjoying the convenience of being able to ask questions and get care remotely. Virtual visits have thus proven their worth since the pandemic and have increasingly grown in popularity.
By facilitating more frequent and convenient connection between you and your patients, telehealth can help improve patient care and engagement. Stronger relationships with clinicians can increase the likelihood that patients will not only follow their care plans but return for their next appointment.
Through leveraging telehealth services, you can expand your patient roster by reaching those who are unable to travel to a physical office or need more on-demand care. Reducing the need for in-person visits can also benefit immunocompromised patients, those with mobility issues, and those living in rural areas. Virtual care allows you to reach and retain these populations, providing the care they need at lower risk and greater convenience.
In addition to expanding your patient roster, telehealth also offers the opportunity to expand appointment availability. You can use virtual care to offer easy access to same-day appointments or use quick telehealth visits to help fill gaps in your schedule. Patients will receive the care they need, and your organization will maintain a fuller schedule, helping to boost your annual revenue.
Invest in automation to maximize efficiency and spend more time with patients
Automation and artificial intelligence tools in healthcare are largely aimed at minimizing administrative work for clinicians, so you can do what you do best: provide patient care. AI can predict the most likely action a clinician would take based on an inbox item in the EHR and make that a “one click” action at the top of the list.
AI technologies help create more efficient workflows, giving you back time to devote to patients. Rather than looking at the computer during the encounter, you might dictate your documentation notes or use AI-powered voice navigation to move through EHR workflows. Some AI tools are now offering the ability to listen to a patient encounter and generate their own notes, so all that’s left is reviewing and signing off on documentation work.
These options free you up to focus on the patient and their care plan. And with more time back in your day, you have the opportunity to expand appointment availability, increase appointment length, or even invest in priority initiatives that help drive your organization’s bottom line.
Use interoperability to curate patient data and save time during patient encounters
When it comes to sharing patient data across care settings and members of a care team, technology plays a key role. Raw data exchange is table stakes today — but more data isn’t always better. How can providers synthesize patient data to give clinicians the information they need, when they need it?
You can start by choosing an EHR that not only provides high-quality data access and data exchange, but also emphasizes intuitive interoperability — surfacing the most relevant information during the encounter itself.
Think about care gap closure, for example. Picture your EHR flagging information about a care gap, gleaned from data exchange with a patient’s recent urgent care visit, that you can close during that encounter. When information is served up at the right moment, that can save time for both you and the patient, prevent more complex, costly care down the line, and increase reimbursement in value-based contracts.
Streamline front-office tasks to make room for patient care, using digital tools
Technology tools in the front office can help improve the quality of care delivery, too. Front-office staff are often overloaded with tasks that technology can streamline — meaning they have less time available to focus on the tasks related to patient care.
Your organization can benefit from offering digital check-in, patient self-scheduling, or digital payments through the patient portal. These options also tend to increase patient satisfaction, loyalty, and retention by appealing to patients’ desire for a tech-enabled, streamlined healthcare experience. Not only are they less time-consuming for patients, but they meet patients where they are: on their phones.
Digital tools in the front office enable administrative staff to focus on the tasks that keep patients healthy and grow your business. After implementing digital check-in, one healthcare organization found that their staff finally had time to run the reports needed to make sure that patients in value-based contracts aren’t falling through the cracks.
Another practice reported that self-scheduling allows them to fill their schedule more efficiently and has led to fewer no-shows. When patients are getting the high-quality care they need, through an experience that’s convenient to them, they’ll keep coming back. And that’s a win-win for everyone, including your business.
Prepare for future innovation
No two healthcare organizations are exactly alike in their technology needs, but these four categories are a great place to start. With telehealth, automation, an EHR that curates patient data, and digital front office tools, you’ll be able to take even better care of your patients while unearthing new time for business initiatives.
As healthcare technology continues to evolve, there will likely be new tools that meet the specific needs of your business. And as your business grows, it will be critical to continue leveraging new technologies in order to drive efficiency and save time. Get started today — and lay the foundation for future success — with telehealth, automation, and other digital tools.
Interested in learning more? Try these related topics:
Accenture, August 2020, How can leaders make recent digital health gains last?
Advisory Board, 2023, Understanding Your Customer: Physicians and Medical Groups.