When you want to book a service—car ride, reservation or movie—where do you go? The answer is easy: online. The e-commerce surge during COVID-19 has permanently changed consumer behaviour. Today, people expect businesses, including healthcare providers, to be both online and offline.
Patients of all ages expect digital convenience
Pandemic-driven safety protocols have pushed traditional businesses online. Customers value digital convenience so much that it’s created a spillover effect into healthcare. According to an Accenture study, patients of all ages in Singapore are more likely to choose clinics that offer digital capabilities, including online appointment booking. Some clinics shy away from going online for fear that seniors will feel excluded. On the contrary, tech adoption among seniors accelerated during COVID-19. Now, more seniors are accessing digital services. Asia’s trajectory towards a digital healthcare future will also perpetuate patients’ expectations for digital convenience. To meet changing expectations, clinics should take their services online. With the right clinic management software (CMS), you can empower your clinic to offer digital convenience throughout the patient journey and grow your practice.
Grow your Practice: The Patient Loyalty Loop
The Patient Loyalty Loop is Plato’s model for growing your practice. Plato has taken the Accelerated Loyalty Journey (Edelman & Singer, 2015) - a common marketing model - and applied it to the unique way in which clinics operate. In the Accelerated Loyalty Journey, brands speed up loyalty building by erasing consideration and evaluation prior to purchase. The Patient Loyalty Loop likewise erases the need for patients to consider or evaluate your clinic, thanks to digital convenience. Instead, patients proceed to book their appointment online in the Discovery phase. At the clinic, the Patient Experience is optimised by minimising wait times using online services. Your clinic can focus on Loyalty Building post-visit by offering digital convenience in continuous care. The result? A growing pool of loyal patients at your clinic.
Here’s how your clinic can offer digital convenience in the Discovery, Patient Experience and Loyalty Building phases of the Patient Loyalty Loop.
Discovery - How easy is it for patients to find you?
Offer online appointment booking: Widen your reach and stay accessible to patients via online appointment booking. Let patients book their visit directly in one click from your clinic’s digital ads, website, social media, recalls and emails. Online booking gives patients 24/7 booking access from anywhere with instant confirmation. Since bookings are automatically scheduled into your CMS, your staff need not do any manual organising or data entry.
Improve patient targeting with data: Intelligence reports in your CMS can provide fundamental marketing insights, such as the revenue generated from specific marketing channels. For more in-depth findings, integrate your CMS with a custom analytics tool. Create custom reports by mining information from your CMS to support better data-driven business decisions.
Patient Experience - Does your tech-savvy clinic reduce wait times?
Let new patients register online: Give new patients a tech-savvy first impression of your practice. Invite them to pre-register online. Let patients submit their biodata directly to your CMS and reduce their wait time in-clinic. Automating patient registration eliminates paper forms and data entry.
Use digital consent forms: Since a consent form is a contract, let patients carefully review their digital consent form in the comforts of home. Give them time to fully understand the risk-benefit relationship of the proposed treatment before giving their informed consent. Your patient can submit the endorsed form - with date and time stamp for data integrity - directly to your CMS. Go paperless while improving the quality and consistency of your clinic’s consent documentation (St John et al., 2017).
Loyalty Building - Does your clinic encourage patients to return?
Pair recalls with online booking: Recalls are effective in appointment and medication adherence across different patient types (Schwebel et al., 2018). It’s easy for patients to neglect care, especially when they lead busy lives. Simplify continuous care for patients by pairing recall messages with online appointment booking.
Engage patients using email: When you integrate your CMS with an email marketing platform, you can automatically send updates or surveys to patients. Collect survey feedback directly in your CMS by integrating your clinic software with digital survey tools. Add your clinic’s appointment booking link inside the emails, so patients can book their visit directly.
ReferencesAccenture. (2019). Accenture 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey. https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/pdf-102/accenture-digital-health-consumer-survey-singapore.pdf