New expectations from consumerism have forced healthcare providers to rethink their patient engagement strategies.

This article introduces seven recommendations to improve significant patient satisfaction by exploiting and leveraging real time communication solutions.

1. The quality of greetings in a welcome center is a major stake for care providers at all levels -- a poor performance may generate patient frustration and harm the hospital’s reputation and image. With the emergence of hospitals and clinic performance assessments available via social networks, it is important to provide welcome center attendants with a real-time monitoring tool, displaying performance metrics to help quickly identify weaknesses and adopt corrective strategies.

2. A mass casualty incident (often shortened to MCI) is an incident in which emergency medical resources, such as personnel and equipment, are overwhelmed by the number and severity of casualties. Events such as building collapses, train and bus collisions, earthquakes and other large-scale terrorist attacks are considered as mass casualty incidents. Deploying MCI solutions which combine mission critical IP Telephony, emergency conferencing and notification services with a very strong SLA reduce latency in responding to the incident.    

3. With the generalization of loyalty programs, patients have come to expect to be treated as premium customers and whenever they take an appointment they now expect to receive an appointment reminder the same way they receive a flight confirmation from their favorite airline. Moreover, “no-shows” are costing health care system billions of Dollars/Euros. While pediatric clinics might see a no-show rate of below five percent, urban family hospitals and clinics often see no-show rates between 10 and 20 percent. And certain outpatient and surgical clinics - think colonoscopies, endoscopies, pulmonary tests and other procedures that require special prep or diets by the patient -- have even higher rates. In a given week, a 50 percent no-show rate - while quite high – is not unheard of at some specialty clinics. By leveraging the contact center’s infrastructure to send appointment reminders through  voice calls, SMS or email, maximum and fluent information flow is guaranteed.

4. Patients bring their consumer habits and expectations when hospitalized. This may lead to frustration and anxiety if prompt admission and discharge is not addressed. Now by integrating real time communication system with healthcare information systems, it allows the production of a single bill for all communications and medical services, and thus assist in accelerating admission and discharge. The true luxury in occidental economies is managing the time factor, giving users easy access to whatever they need, whenever they want. This is now becoming a primary selection criteria when considering medical care. Rolling out WiFi access in the patient room and in the hospital premises is the most efficient and cost effective provision of Internet access to patients and their relatives.

5. According to the “Hospinnov” white paper, 64% of patients request a fixed phone in their room, as well as 95% of patients are willing to pay for entertainment or premium food services. Deploying telephone sets in the room can now be combined with eConcierge services integrated with mobile communications.

6. Technologies are a way of providing a lifeline to patients by allowing them to reach the right person in the case of an emergency. Rolling out notification services that immediately connect the patient to a nurse from a single click to call nurse button, or a “soft” button situated on the patient smart phone, are a means of comforting and securing the patient’s well being.

7. An integrated care pathway is a multidisciplinary course and cadence of anticipated healthcare, that assists patients with a specific set of conditions or symptoms to move progressively through a clinical experience, and terminate with positive outcome.

Real Time Communication technologies are now becoming the new backbone of positive outcomes in the area of patient satisfaction, whether the patient calls the hospital, makes an appointment with a physician or stays in a hospital under Acute, Chronic & Long Term conditions. It provides better patient safety, by providing instant access to the best available resource and sending the right information to the right person at the right time.

Learn more about our solutions:

Healthcare solutions | Optimized Care Network | Rainbow for Healthcare | LBS for Healthcare   

Tags - Customer Service, Customer Service, Healthcare

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About the author
Nicole Hill

Nicole Hill

Global Director, Healthcare Sector, ALE

Nicole is responsible for leading the worldwide Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Healthcare business.

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