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Seven Out of 10 Patient Experience Professionals Identify Contact Center as a High Priority and Strategic Asset

Legacy solutions impede health care industry’s ability to provide optimal patient experience

  • Majority of patients surveyed do not believe health care providers can deliver an excellent digital patient experience
  • Patient loyalty decreases significantly due to poor patient experience, leading to deferred care and worse outcomes
  • Talkdesk Research highlights the need for modern, reliable and agile cloud solutions to re-imagine the patient experience

According to a new report by Talkdesk®, Inc. Research, The Patient Experience Revolution in Health Care, seven out of 10 patient experience (PX) professionals recognize the contact center as a high priority and strategic asset. Despite the importance placed on the contact center, most professionals identify legacy on-premises systems as a significant barrier to improving the patient experience.

“The cloud has helped many health care organizations quickly pivot their patient experience strategies to become more flexible and responsive to customers during the pandemic. Contact centers have become the key point of connection to health resources for many people, which has encouraged organizations to innovate with new communication tools, new strategies, and new processes that breakdown data silos and foster personalized experiences,” said Keith Dawson, vice president and research director, customer experience, Ventana Research. “All of this is happening concurrently with a continuing strong focus on keeping patient data secure and private. The growing CCaaS environment provides a foundation on which health care firms can build connections and trust with their patient customers.”

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The Patient Experience Revolution in Health Care report from Talkdesk reveals less than 40% of patients believe health care providers are able to deliver excellent PX in a completely digital way. The COVID-19 pandemic has sped the adoption of virtual care while heightening PX expectations among health care consumers. Nearly 70% of patients say poor patient experience will negatively impact their brand loyalty. Additionally, the report indicates bad interactions can result in patients deferring needed follow up care, leading to worse care outcomes. Despite the clear benefits of optimal PX, not all health care organizations are fully equipped to provide a unified, modern experience across the end-to-end patient journey. From a contact center perspective, the health care industry relies on aging and inflexible on-premises systems and is one of the slowest industries in terms of cloud adoption.

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“As consumers, we expect customer service from any company to be seamless, synchronized and easy. Unfortunately, health care has become anything but easy and the patient experience is often frustrating and confusing,” said Greg Miller, vice president of industry strategy, health care and life sciences, Talkdesk. “Health care contact centers can be an essential component of creating exceptional patient experiences and enabling patients to communicate with providers through their channel of choice, as customers have come to expect from any other industry.”

Health care in the U.S. is highly complex and disjointed as systems and provider organizations operate independently leading to poor communication, coordination and patient information exchange. According to a study by the University of Colorado, patient handoffs can be some of the most dangerous moments in treatment. The resulting friction, bureaucracy and uncertainty for patients lead to negative perceptions and experiences. These frustrations can cause patients to delay or bypass care in order to avoid the hassle. Health care providers recognize the improvement opportunity; a better patient experience translates into patient loyalty which leads to greater access to care. This increase in care results in better health outcomes for patients and revenue for providers.

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The Patient Experience Revolution in Health Care research report from Talkdesk analyzes interviews with nearly 700 patients and more than 150 health care professionals worldwide, including leadership and management for patient service, patient experience and operations. The study reveals five themes related to PX perceptions today, and opportunities for health care organizations to re-imagine and rebuild PX using their contact center:

  1. Re-imagine the patient experience
    ○ 78% of patients say engaging with health care systems through their preferred channel is important
    ○ 75% of patients are more loyal to health care providers that invest in strengthening their PX
  2. Unify the patient journey
    ○ 63% of patients do not believe their health care provider can deliver an excellent experience in a completely digital way
    ○ 74% of patients are asked to provide the same information to multiple health care professionals
  3. Provide seamless PX, upgrade contact center solutions
    ○ 68% of PX professionals place a high priority on contact center upgrades
    ○ 76% of organizations with on-premises or hybrid platforms intend to move to cloud solutions within two years
  4. Coordinate care with omnichannel and artificial intelligence (AI)
    ○ 68% of PX professionals want more communication channels to connect with patients
    ○ Use of AI for speech analytics is expected to increase by 50% within two years
  5. Generate patient and business intelligence through the contact center
    ○ 73% of providers to increase reporting and analytics investment
    ○ Modern cloud solutions incorporate privacy and HIPAA compliance while providing protected patient data to personalize health care experiences

“The Patient Experience Revolution in Health Care report shines a spotlight on the challenges patients have navigating a complex health care journey, at a time when they are often most vulnerable and in need of proactive, synchronized communication and service. This report clearly identifies PX as an essential component for delivering high-quality health care,” said Tiago Paiva, chief executive officer, Talkdesk. “Cloud solutions from Talkdesk offer the flexibility and operational agility for health care providers to create connected experiences across any channel and in turn, enhances safety and quality, while reducing costs and improved patient loyalty.”

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