What innovations drive success in healthcare? Here's a tactic from a leading healthcare organization on the athenahealth network.
More than 80 percent of new parents today are millennials – and millennials have high expectations for customer service. They want convenience, intuitive mobile tools, rapid responses, and the ability to customize their experiences – including visits to their children's pediatricians.
North Scottsdale Pediatrics, a 17-provider practice serving 30,000 patients in Arizona, needed to revamp its operations for this new generation of parents.
Step one was to ensure that parents could reach the practice in the same way they connect to everything else in their lives: through their smartphones and laptops. “Millennial parents are looking for the easiest, fastest way for everything," says Tricia Juba, North Scottsdale's practice manager. “They want everything on the go on their phone, so we make sure that's how it works here."
The practice's user-friendly patient portal gives parents not only full access to their kids' medical records on mobile devices, but also allows them to schedule appointments from their phones. Parents can “schedule their kids' appointments on the fly, whether they are at home or even in our parking lot," says Juba.
When a toddler wakes up in the middle of the night with a fever, parents can lock in an appointment for the morning then and there, rather than having to wait to call when the office opens at 8 a.m. Likewise, they can make an appointment for a sprained ankle from the sidelines of soccer practice.
North Scottsdale ensures that same-day and next-day appointments are available for online scheduling and has opened an evening clinic to give parents even more options.
Approximately 50 percent of the practice's patients are using web scheduling, and the practice expects that to rise to as high as 95 percent. “These tools helps us relate better to millennial parents," says Jeffrey Siegel, M.D., a North Scottsdale physician, “and will help us recruit more patients in the future."
Lia Novotny is a contributing writer to athenaInsight.