Healthcare is a very important industry and one that many simply could not live without. Everything from cosmetic surgery to dental work, to prescribing life-changing medicine is very important to the health and well-being of all of us.
And just like every industry, healthcare is becoming more technical and digital than ever before. In fact, the telehealth market is expected to grow to over $450 billion in the next decade or so, and there are more and more digital solutions out there in the medical world.
Doctors can consider virtual medical scribe to save them time, there are many patient portals online to share and collect information, and it is now completely possible to have completely virtual meetings with your doctor from the comfort of your own home.
But one of the most important and beneficial things that telehealth has led to is the existence of healthcare virtual assistants. These assistants can handle a lot of medical office day-to-day tasks, and do so without taking up any space at all. One of their best uses is how they can help enhance patient engagement at your clinic or office.
Without any further ado, let’s go over a few ways that healthcare virtual assistants can enhance patient engagement and ensure they have the best experience possible.
Helps People Save Time
First and foremost, healthcare virtual assistants can boost patient experience by helping people save time. Reaching out to a busy doctor’s office, collecting and sharing information, and doing a variety of other things can be a real headache when a medical practice is overwhelmed and understaffed.
By simply having a virtual assistant or two, it ensures patients don’t have to wait forever for things to get done. No one likes to waste time, especially when it comes to their health or wellbeing.
While they can help patients save time and get through things much quicker, virtual healthcare assistants can also help doctors and medical professionals, themselves. With doctors spending a lot of time on mundane and repetitive tasks (when they should be spending more time with patients), having assistants who can help take this work off of their plates is a very good idea.
Make it Easier to Reschedule and Book Appointments
As a patient, few things can be more annoying than trying to book an appointment to see a medical professional. It is rarely ever a smooth experience, and it can involve a lot of back and forth, as well as waiting.
You might sit on hold for a very long time, or the person booking your appointment will be so busy multi-tasking and focusing on other things that they enter the wrong date or forget what you have said.
Virtual assistants can easily and quickly get you booked in for your procedure or meeting, and do it without a lot of wasted time or energy. Their only job is often to help improve the patient experience in many cases, which stops them from having a ton else to focus on or be distracted by. In a similar vein, they can also make it much simpler to reschedule appointments or make changes of a different variety.
Answers Questions More Quickly and Provide Information
One of the biggest benefits that these virtual assistants provide is that they can answer patient questions very quickly. In the past, patients often had to wait a very long time before hearing back from a professional, and the answer they would get, would often be rushed or incomplete.
Many patients have a boatload of questions, and doctors and other medical professionals simply don’t have the time to answer them in the detail the patient wants or expects.
These virtual assistants are professionally trained, and can provide thorough and helpful responses and ensure patients issues are dealt with. In addition to answering questions, these virtual assistants can provide information much easier and more effectively than in the past.
The Growing Prevalence of Online Patient Portals
While virtual assistants can work in many ways, many work primarily within online patient portals. This is essentially a one-stop-shop for patients to go to handle anything related to their medical history, personal information, or to pay balances or see results.
Without virtual assistants to work in and manage these portals, patients would have a much more difficult experience. Eventually, we will likely see online patient portals and related health kiosks be the place that all patients go before and after their appointments to make sure all is good.
Better Availability and Access From Anywhere
Accessibility and availability is a crucial part of a good patient experience. In the past, patients had to go into the office to make appointments, share information and do many other things. This took a lot of time, and no one enjoyed doing it.
While a phone call made it easier, it is still not the preferred way for many people to communicate. It can take a while to get through, and it is easy for things to be misspelled or misheard. And you may not even know that a mistake was made until it is too late.
Being able to provide information online lets patients check things over before they send it and simply provides a more efficient and simple way to do things. You can do it from the comfort of your own home, without ever actually needing to talk to anyone if you don’t want.
Virtual assistants and the various tools, platforms, and programs that they work with can assist patients right from home, from the bus, or even while on a road trip. Everything in our life is becoming more and more accessible, and healthcare and healthcare-related services are no different.
Keep Track of Patients Before and After Treatment
While it would be lovely if patients always did what they were supposed to do before and after a procedure or treatment, that is hardly ever the case. Many patients simply forget or miss important things that medical professionals ask them to do. For example, medical nonadherence is a major issue and leads to thousands of preventable deaths when people forget to take their medication, or do it in an incorrect way.
Virtual assistants can help make sure people are always reminded of what they need to do, the medication they need to take, and any pre or post-procedure instructions. Virtual assistants can send messages or texts to ensure people are doing what they need.
They can even help perform at-home health assessments to see how patients are doing after a procedure, and gather information about how something is healing. This personal connection and care is often much appreciated by patients, and ensures that everything is taken care of and nothing important is missed.
Simply put, virtual assistants can help cosmetic surgeons, dentists, and other types of medical professionals keep tabs on their patients, and ensure their patients aren’t forgetting to do very important things.
Discrete and Secure Data
Data privacy and security is a big concern for many people, and for good reason. People want to ensure that all of their private information (especially medical-related) is kept safe and secure.
Healthcare virtual assistants can collect information and data, and do so in a way that is discrete and safe for all involved.
The data can automatically be compared to what is on file to make sure it is accurate and can be verified in real-time. There is no need for paper records, which can easily be misplaced or accidentally shown to the wrong person.
Apps and Mobile Messaging
Many providers have created their own apps to allow patients to see information, provide information, set appointments, and do various other things. This is often easier than having to go to the office or provide details over the phone.
Apps are great and can provide a lot of helpful information right at patient fingertips. Many virtual assistants are hired and tasked with working on or within these apps to help patients in any way they can. This has made the entire process much more efficient, and saves time and effort for everyone involved.
But in addition to apps, mobile messaging has become more and more common. This is simply when an assistant will text you to remind you of an appointment, confirm an appointment, or gather important information that they need.
People are much more likely to notice, see, and respond to text messages than they often are to open an app, which is why this strategy has been employed by many cosmetic surgeons, doctors, and dentists to confirm appointments and share/collect information.
In conclusion, these are just some of the many different ways that virtual assistants in healthcare can enhance patient engagement and experience. While virtual assistants in healthcare are still relatively new, we soon see them becoming much more popular and common for practices and clinics of all shapes, sizes, and kinds.