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Five ways to satisfy patients in tele-consultation

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To ensure effective care delivery and patient’s care satisfaction, providers and healthtech companies alike have been striving to understand the patient for improving their journey and experience. The improvement and advancement of telemedicine rely heavily on reports of patient satisfaction, as it is the patient who can tell you best if your services were able to resolve their issues and meet their expectations. Anmol Arora, CEO, DocVita suggests few things to bear in mind to serve patients better on tele-consultation platforms

 What emerged as a mechanism to treat patients located in remote places, far away from local healthcare facilities or in areas with a shortage of medical professionals, is now revolutionising the healthcare system. While telemedicine is still an important tool to address these problems, it is increasingly becoming a system for convenient medical care.

Telemedicine has emerged as a new call for action at the moment owing to several reasons – pressure on the healthcare system, focus on preventive care and the COVID-19 pandemic which has made many of us reluctant to visit hospitals and clinics. Moreover, with the increasing digital awareness, more people are opting for virtual consultations because of its affordability and accessibility. This has given the telemedicine industry a new impetus in its expansion.

The facility of synchronous consultation using information and communication technology is a great step towards omitting geographical and functional distance. However, patient satisfaction continues to be among the major concerns facing telehealth. To ensure effective care delivery and patient’s care satisfaction, providers and healthtech companies alike have been striving to understand the patient for improving their journey and experience. The improvement and advancement of telemedicine rely heavily on reports of patient satisfaction, as it is the patient who can tell you best if your services were able to resolve their issues and meet their expectations. Here are a few things to bear in mind to serve them better:

  1. Match the patient with the right doctor

Whenever a user comes on a healthtech’s platform, he expects to get connected with a doctor who understands their problem, has the expertise of the same, listens to them, diagnoses accurately and then starts the treatment. For this, it is important to match a patient with a provider whose area of expertise overlaps with their health concern. High patient satisfaction comes from a wider interaction system between patient and provider along with meeting patient preferences, for example, some female patients might be comfortable talking to a female doctor only; regional understanding; and common Language. The implementation of technology in medicine should be a result of deliberate design focused on patients, not just for the sake of vanity.

2. Encourage providers to break the ice and introduce themselves

To ensure satisfactory care delivery, it is prudent to provide patients with a tool or platform where they can share crucial information with the provider before the consultation. Also, providers should be encouraged to go through the patient’s health history as it would help the doctor empathise with the patient who then feels better-taken care of. In the absence of physical contact, patients are often sceptical if they will get personalised care or not. Therefore, it becomes important for the specialist to introduce themselves, interact well and win confidence especially if it is their first meeting with the patient. It puts the patient at ease, ensures safety and comfort and creates a conducive environment for the patient to open up and share the necessary information.

3. Communicate and support your patient in their care journey

While patients seek care on your platform, they trust you and it is up to you how to enhance their trust and comfort. Here, communication is the key tool as a patient, at any time should not feel disconnected. If they are provided with regular guidance throughout their care journey, it would automatically deliver care satisfaction. At every point, your patients should be directed towards the next step which includes reminders for an upcoming appointment, ensuring setup for video consultation, reminders for tests etc.

4. A consultation does not end with the appointment

There must be a system in place which facilitates patient to ask questions to the provider after the video call to seek answers to remaining queries. Also, your platform must support sharing a tangible treatment plan to avoid confusions around medication names, doses, etc. Many prefer telemedicine for its tendency to improve outcomes, hence, it is important to collect your patient’s critical feedback before wrapping up the consultation and utilise it to refine your process.

5. Don’t seek feedback through surveys

Healthcare, in general, is a high-touch service, where a care seeker expects a fair bit from their care provider. Because of the variety of diseases, treatments, and interactions in healthcare, survey based feedback does not capture the user’s experience very well. It is always a better idea to let someone from the team reach out to the patients, and lend them an ear to elaborate their experience with your platform. The user insights received directly are always real, reliable and valuable for refining functional process. To enhance customer satisfaction and ensure effective services, it is important to understand customers’ expectations and above all, record honest feedback.

Summing it all up

Today’s consumers have high expectations and when it comes to healthcare, meeting those expectations can be tough. Therefore, both healthtech and providers cannot afford not to look for innovative ways to keep their patients satisfied. Healthtech companies must assist doctors as they learn how to best integrate telehealth into their clinical toolb

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