Salesforce commissioned its 2017 Connected Patient Report survey to better understand how “Americans communicate with their healthcare providers, insurance payers, and pharmaceutical Firms” and get their thoughts on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence. The survey was completed in May 2017 and included Americans with a primary care physician (PCP) and health insurance. The results are segmented by generations: Millennials (18-34), Generation X (35-54) and Baby Boomers (55+). The results are enlightening. Rather than going through the results question by question, let’s look at the overall results in the context of the Silverline Healthcare Accelerator Patient Contact Center.
Patient Contact Center (PCC) enables agents to interact with patients in a more comprehensive manner to drive greater patient engagement while providing tools to more effectively close patient inquiries through multiple channels. Eighty percent of all patients communicate with their PCP via phone to schedule appointments and one quarter schedule appointments in person. About thirteen percent use a portal, while millennials are twice as likely to use email and nine times more likely to use text to schedule an appointment (1). PCC can support email, texting, and chat/instant message along with traditional phone calls. Agents can see a 360° view of a patient’s interaction with the healthcare system and supported providers/services.
While many consumers search websites for their healthcare content, it’s important to offer opportunities to speak directly with healthcare professionals via phone, chat or email. Creating workflow or links that drive consumers to agents who can facilitate finding a provider or facility, register someone for an event, or communicate with a nurse regarding symptoms and care advice enhances the patient experience and ensures patients remain within the healthcare system. PCC can facilitate event registration with its RSVP component, find providers and make referrals with Provider Directory or Referral Management components or triage patients with its Nurse Triage component.
Communication with Insurance Payers primarily by phone, but nearly half of patients communicate via email or portal and up to 17% use chat or text message (2). Silverline’s Member Contact Center (MCC) utilizes the same Member 360° approach to ensure members can connect with Payers in the manner they choose.
Facilitating ongoing communication between patients and physicians via apps and online portal can improve engagement rates by 60% or higher (3). Mobile-friendly communication is crucial for patient engagement, as people use a mobile device or tablet for 57% of email opens (4). Silverline’s PCC solution can work seamlessly to engage patients and deliver messaging, education and collaboration in a manner that increases patient/member satisfaction. After employing multimedia programs meant to help patients understand complex health information or information regarding self-care or upcoming procedures, 86% of 29 participating hospitals improved doctor-to-patient communication, and 69% improved their overall rating by 4% or more (5).