John M. McKeever Chief Growth Officer
John McKeever supports leaders who are seeking to make high impact changes in their business, primarily to advance strategies for growth and business optimization. He...
One of the many impacts of COVID-19, the pandemic that swept the globe in 2020, has been the need for companies to innovate; providing fast, efficient and informed options for their customers. Concerns over health and safety created a need for the healthcare industry to quickly launch virtual appointments, digital health apps, prescription delivery, curbside check-in, and easy access to information. The fast-changing landscape of the pandemic has taught us that people want options, and if offered multiple ways to meet their needs, they will remain loyal to your brand.
An omnichannel experience involves looking at the patient experience from multiple points of access and embracing the fact that, whether it is scheduling an appointment or receiving a visit, there are various ways to satisfy a patient’s needs. For example, during COVID, because the virus is highly contagious, many doctors and nurses needed to talk to their patients in isolation through an iPad, even though they were in the next room. However, before the pandemic, one common complaint of patients admitted to the hospital was that they had to wait so long to see their doctor, not understanding that their physician wasn’t always at the hospital at that moment. What if moving forward, a physician can communicate via a video visit for quick rounds with patients, and then when physically at the hospital, do in-person rounds later in the day? This would give patients multiple touchpoints with their physician and decrease their anxiety.
During the pandemic, stores began offering contactless curbside pickup. What if something similar was offered to patients? They can wait in their car and receive a text message when the physician is ready to see them. This completely changes the psychology of wait, a person perceives a shorter wait time because they have control of their familiar environment, their car, compared to an unfamiliar setting, the waiting room. Keep in mind, however, that an omnichannel experience recognizes that not every patient will choose this option, understanding that some of your patients might not have a car and they’d prefer the warmth of the waiting room. It’s all about options.
This multi-option or multi-channel approach helps to solve a lot of access barriers to your services. Virtual visits allow patients to keep physicians of choice despite geographic barriers, availability conflicts, or struggling to find time off work. Many of your departments have already tapped into innovative ways to meet patients’ needs, you just might not know about them. Perhaps your security guard notices that despite way-finding signs, people are getting lost, and he positions himself at a particular intersection to help people find their way.
Maybe your maintenance staff has noticed multiple requests for the temperature to change in a patient’s room. If control boxes were unlocked in rooms, patients have the option to make themselves more comfortable, and the staff could focus on other things. A physician assistant might notice that the physician spends hours after the office closes responding to voicemails, answering simple questions, or prescription refill requests. Offering patients an email option for simple questions, or a button to click for refills will free up both the physician’s and the patient’s time. Tapping into the innovation of your staff, as well as learning the patient experience will give you clues to what is needed in building out your omnichannel digital strategies.
Endeavor Management is skilled in helping organizations transition to an omnichannel strategy or to enhance the one they already have. By incorporating the involuntary changes you’ve had to make through pandemic times, with innovative future planning, your organization will be able to meet the moment at hand and be prepared for the future. Your patients will be pleased, and your employees will deepen their commitment to your vision.
Let us help you take that next step. Book a consultation today.