Healthcare Providers: Optimize Your Websites for the Top Five "Moments That Matter"

Why a generic "one-size-fits-all" won't work when it comes to addressing patient satisfaction online

More and more healthcare providers are recognizing both the patient demand and the business opportunities that come with personalizing their digital experience. According to a recent report from Johns Hopkins, 91% of patients surveyed indicated that their patient experience was ‘extremely important’ or ‘very important’ to them – and provider investments in patient experience resulted in even more in provider revenue. Similar to healthcare insurers, providers are now looking to leverage digital to drive patient satisfaction, reduce spending, and improve quality of care by making an impact during key “moments that matter” throughout their patients’ journeys. We conducted a comprehensive survey of hospital provider websites in the US to determine the most impactful examples – and how providers aim to differentiate each. Below are our top 5:

The First Impression.

For a worried patient or caregiver, the post-diagnosis web search is fraught with anxiety – and the need to quickly access and evaluate therapeutic options is crucial. Provider homepages and landing pages must inspire trust and confidence – with clear navigation to guide patients to the right information as fast as possible, with as few clicks as possible. There is no set approach – some providers offer a live chat option right away (e.g. Cleveland Clinic) to assist; others ‘nudge’ their visitors to self-segment by group therapeutic area immediately (like New York Presbyterian), and others highlight key operational insights in the menu bar or hero image area (e.g. Inova Fairfax offers live wait time for emergency room visits). Conclusion? Balancing “what to expect” content with operational insights makes a strong first impression.

The Lookback.

Patient portals like myChart have emerged as a useful EHR offering for patients looking to understand their health data, even as they often force visitors to learn the medical terminology behind their blood test results, for example. These portals, in their most advanced examples, do a great job of highlighting the patient’s health history over time – inclusive of detailed test results, scans, notes, and dates charted in user-friendly presentations. NYU Langone Health patient portal, for example, offers patients secure access to their easy-to-read health charts highlighting their progress over time and key areas for improvement in the future. While this moment is powerful for patients, and can save providers time and money, they are often siloed from other provider content – wellness, ‘what to expect’ from hospital visits, etc. - offering an opportunity for providers to invest in more comprehensive, integrated digital experiences. Conclusion? Providers can increase the impact of their EHR experience with additional, personalized content by therapeutic area, procedure detail, etc.

The Instant Book.

Booking, changing and cancelling appointments online is a huge motivating factor in patient satisfaction and loyalty, yet surprisingly some providers have not invested in bringing these features online. Completing an operational task drives online satisfaction (as many ecommerce businesses understand) and so it should be for providers – with the added value of reducing bottlenecks and costly phone cancellations4. For example, Michigan Avenue Primary Care offers seamless integrations with ZocDoc and ClockwiseMD to schedule virtual appointments, in-person appointments and specific COVID-19 testing appointments directly from their homepage. Conclusion? The more providers can offer the patient ‘digital control’ over their experience, the more effective their patient experience will be.

The Bill Pay.

For providers, there is no avoiding this one. Paying bills securely online in an easy, patient-friendly web experience makes a huge difference in satisfaction and saves providers meaningful time and money on billing call-centers. For example, Northwell Health features a Billing tab in their main menu across the homepage and navigation bar, allows payment for multiple bills at once via account login with saved credit cards, and also offers payment as a guest (which doesn’t require an account sign-in if you have your bill number in hand). Conclusion? Simplifying even mundane patient tasks can be a huge asset to providers looking to optimize patient experience.

The Perks.

Providers have a huge incentive to keep their patient communities healthy – from reducing costly readmissions to meeting ACA-mandates for non-profit providers. Digital ‘moments’ can make a huge difference here. Top providers are successfully showcasing personalized content (often based on a “choose your own adventure” logic) to surface relevant content across different patient groups - with the goal of educating for healthier outcomes. Conclusion? Providers have a substantial opportunity – beyond direct financial and regulatory incentives – to convert a ‘transactional’ patient relationship into an ‘experiential’ relationship – and inspire patients to live healthier lives, in exchange for higher patient satisfaction.

In conclusion, our scan of key digital ‘moments that matter’ show a range of opportunities for providers to improve patient satisfaction through digital content and features. These key moments highlight the need for providers to focus on the entire patient journey - and put patients in control of their care, educate on what to expect, make dull tasks easier, and give their personalized health data context and meaning. Providers who can solve for these ‘moments that matter’ will be in a position to deliver a secure, trusted digital experience – and will see the results, quickly!

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