Anyone in healthcare who follows the latest trends and news topics has likely seen coverage of how modern scientific and technological advancements are dramatically transforming the industry landscape. From AI technology fueling developments in radiology to the use of virtual reality in the surgical environment, our ever-expanding digital world is resulting in some truly innovative opportunities for treatment and patient care.
However, while these developments are all very exciting for the industry as a whole, they don’t actually have a major impact on most operating in the sector. Complex AI isn’t going to support a chiropractic center, for example, nor is state-of-the-art virtual reality technology going to help a private clinician grow their practice. But that doesn’t mean technology doesn’t exist for these healthcare organizations either.
There are plenty of technological solutions available to ground-level practices and businesses in healthcare that can help you build upon your current success and develop new levels of digital superiority. So what kind of tech are we talking about?
Appointment Reminder Software
Missed appointments come at a great cost — $200 per non-attendance on average. This equates to $150 billion a year in lost revenue for the healthcare industry and can leave your individual organization thousands of dollars worse off. Most missed appointments, however, aren’t the result of neglect or lack of interest. A lot of the time, it is simply a case of forgetfulness or mistakes in scheduling. As many as 25% of people have forgotten an important healthcare appointment.
To combat loss of revenue as a result of poor attendance or failure to cancel, those in healthcare simply need to remind their patients and clients that they have upcoming scheduled appointments. The introduction of appointment reminder software is a simple but effective technological solution to this problem.
The system operates through automated reminders that can be sent out to clients over platforms such as phone calls, emails, or texts. Information contained within these messages effectively reminds them of their schedule and upcoming dates, helping people to remember their required attendance or give them the chance to cancel if they need to.
What this means for healthcare organizations is that patients maintain a better awareness of their scheduled appointments, meaning far fewer are likely to miss them, and you are less liable to see revenue loss as a result.
Fax machines are outdated technology. They’re vulnerable to security threats, result in infractions of data protection, and are woefully inefficient for document transmission. However, 75% of organizations in healthcare still use them. There is a reason for this seemingly mad devotion to archaic practices, though. Fax allows for the submission of legal signatures, provides immediate access to important visual documents, and, thanks to its entrenched nature, ensures comprehensive communication across the industry.
The keyword here is fax.
Fax as a practice enables this functionality, yet there is more than one way to send a fax. Those in the healthcare space should look to more advanced methods of sending fax documentation, known as digital faxing, or eFax.
Digital faxing means transmitting fax documents through computers and smart devices as attached documents, rather than via fax machines and analog lines. The benefits are that the documents see the enhanced security of digital technology and the improvements in work efficiency that modern hardware provides, all while allowing those in healthcare to continue to send fax files as normal. Fax can even be sent from a smart device to an old-fashioned fax machine, so there are no barriers to communication for businesses that choose not to adopt these kinds of solutions.
Not all VR technology is based on futuristic concepts of enhancing surgery. There are actually a number of much easier and simpler ways that virtual reality can be introduced into your healthcare organization to support the development of your services and overall patient care; technology that doesn’t require colossal investment or hyper-advanced treatment plans.
Numerous tools are being developed to work with virtual reality hardware, allowing for in-depth training of medical and patient care skills without the need to practice on live subjects. This can lead to superior consumer experience from newly trained practitioners and staff, as it means organizations can provide more hands-on teaching and development through digital spaces prior to practical testing of skills on actual people.
Virtual reality can also be used in a similar way to provide patients with detailed visual experiences of their treatment options. The technology not only supports better decision making but can also offer reassurances to anxious patients who aren’t certain what to expect from their healthcare plan.
Private Mobile Applications
Research into smartphone habits has revealed that 85% of people prefer to use mobile applications over websites, research that is supported by the fact that 87% of time spent on a smartphone is done so within an application.
Healthcare organizations that want to see the highest engagement levels from their client-bases should consider the development of a personalized mobile app. Having a mobile app can support simpler appointment booking and allow patients to receive updates and notifications directly on their smart device. Other benefits of your own app include the ability to create loyalty programs and rewards for repeat customers, if applicable to your healthcare organization, as well as enabling direct contact systems via the app.