Contactless care. It might have sounded futuristic a decade or so ago, but these days, it’s an important component of healthcare consumerism.
What exactly is contactless care? Basically, it describes a patient experience delivered in a way that avoids unnecessary person-to-person contact. This type of care leverages digital technologies and tools to offer healthcare and health-related services for everything from appointment scheduling and check-in to virtual consult and online payment.
Today’s patients expect a seamless experience, similar to that offered in industries such as retail and hospitality. They want healthcare services that are not only convenient but also enable them to connect with providers on their terms.
Contactless care isn’t only a bonus for a lot of individuals — it’s a requirement. When confronted with a bad experience, nearly three-quarters of consumers say they are very or somewhat likely to switch providers to those with better contactless services. Gen Z consumers are more likely than any other generation to consider contactless experiences important.
Many healthcare providers realize the benefits of contactless care, too. Roughly 85 percent of physicians believe these tools provide an advantage in their ability to care for their patients.
Promoting Patient and Staff Satisfaction
Contactless care offers many more benefits than just convenience. Along with meeting consumer demand for ease, access, transparency, and speed, it aids in mitigating crowded waiting rooms, high-touch areas, wait times, and unnecessary travel.
Contactless care can even help improve health outcomes by delivering safe, timely, and consistent care that’s accessible and affordable. By putting patients at the center, it often drives higher levels of engagement and satisfaction. Additional advantages of contactless care include:
- Fewer medical errors
- Augmented patient safety
- Improved patient-provider communication
- Increased HIPAA compliance
- Enhanced provider and staff productivity and satisfaction
- Fewer repetitive administrative tasks
- Enhanced patient loyalty and retention
How to Provide a Contactless Patient Care Journey
Patients should be able to experience a contactless patient journey, from pre-visit registration all the way to post-appointment payment. Medical groups utilizing the technology to produce this, however, are best served with tools that enable them to increase workflow efficiencies while meeting patient needs.
The most popular digital health tools for contactless care are those that automate tasks before, during, and after a patient’s appointment. More patient control means less work for medical group staff. Prime examples of these tools are those used for appointment scheduling, check-in, and payment.
Patient Online Scheduling
Patient registration and appointment scheduling are the first and most important steps in a patient’s healthcare journey. A majority of patients prefer to have the resources available to schedule appointments, register, and check-in in a contactless manner through their smartphone, computer, or other mobile device.
Approximately 40% of consumers now prefer to book appointments online. And, about 70% of patients are more likely to choose a medical group that allows them to book, change, and cancel appointments online.
Why has the use of online scheduling grown so quickly? Only half of patients who call for an appointment are able to book an appointment over the phone on the first try. Scheduling via phone is also inefficient, taking eight minutes on average versus one minute online.
Manually contacting patients to remind them of an upcoming appointment is certainly time-consuming. It also does little to minimize no-shows and cancellations or aid providers in improving the accuracy of their schedules.
The manual check-in process isn’t only inconvenient, but it also leads to poor time management that results in longer wait times. Medical groups that offer digital check-in tools eliminate the need for physical patient intake tasks and minimize contact with individuals who are ill.
During a contactless check-in process, patients can update demographic information, verify their insurance information and medical history, acknowledge and sign consent forms, and complete questionnaires. Other benefits of using digital patient check-in platforms are:
- Elevated patient engagement and satisfaction
- Shorter wait times
- Mitigation of medical errors
- Alleviated administrative burden
- Enhanced coordination of care
- Improved HIPAA compliance
- Curtailed operational costs
- More reliable revenue
Plus, with digital check-in technologies that integrate with electronic health records and practice management systems, patient information is automatically captured and populated in real-time into the solutions.
Offering contactless technologies that enable patients to view and pay their bills – including email and text options – helps consumers feel in control over their finances and creates a better experience. Maybe that’s why almost 80% of consumers want the COVID-19 pandemic’s prevalent contactless payment options to remain in place. According to the Medical Group Management Association, more than half of providers changed their contactless payment strategies in response to the pandemic.
Contactless payment options do more than keep a medical group’s front desk area cleaner for both patients and staff, they also increase front office employees’ efficiency and productivity. They also are safer than manual payment methods because they rely on credit cards with chips or mobile wallets.
Together, Kryuus and Epion Health offer end-to-end patient access and engagement solutions that enable patients to easily find and schedule care, complete pre-visit tasks, and meaningfully engage with their providers. Request information or schedule a meeting with our team to learn more!
Sources: https://www.ama-assn.org/sites/ama-assn.org/files/corp/media-browser/specialty%20group/washington/ama-digital-health-report923.pdf https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/health/todays-consumers-reveal-future-healthcare https://revcycleintelligence.com/news/contactless-payments-virtual-care-surge-to-continue-post-covid-19