Building strong patient loyalty is a top concern among administrators as they seek to increase market share and remain competitive. As patients increasingly take control of their healthcare journey, researching providers and care options, providers need to build deep relationships with patients to become their trusted partners.
Ensuring patients are satisfied while achieving quality clinical outcomes is nothing new. The federal government, payers, and providers have long focused on these metrics. But the idea of patient loyalty – having an allegiance to a certain hospital or clinic – and always turning to the organization when they are in need of healthcare, is on the rise.
Patients are expecting more today from healthcare and that is driving the importance of loyalty. This shift is driven, in part, because patients are shouldering more of the cost for their care. Now, price matters, as well as the perceived value of the services they are receiving. Patients want a deeper experience with their healthcare provider and seek providers who will partner with them in health and wellness.
At HealthLoop, many of our customers are seeking to do just that when they implement our automated patient engagement solution. They are looking to begin daily, one-on-one dialogue with patients before surgery and during recovery. They quickly discover that enabling meaningful, two-way communication and delivering timely, actionable information to patients brings a whole host of benefits for patients and providers alike.
Supporting Value-Based Care
As value-based care models become more prevalent, forward-thinking hospitals are working to build deeper relationships with patients to keep them healthy in the most cost-efficient manner. Once upon a time, hospitals focused primarily on caring for patients during their inpatient stay and considered their job done at discharge. With hospitals now financially accountable for readmissions, maintaining the dialogue outside the walls of the hospital and clinic is critical.
Many organizations add more care managers, call center workers or patient navigators to their staff to keep in close contact with patients once they’ve been discharged. This might help the hospital reap many of the benefits of patient engagement, but at significant additional expense.
Already strained, many healthcare providers simply don’t have the budget to hire more staff. The answer is to automate patient engagement, so providers can keep in close contact with patients at scale without hiring an army of employees.
Our customers have found that patients who engage with providers daily are less likely to experience health complications and hospital readmissions. In fact, we’ve seen a 54 percent reduction in complications, 45 percent reduction in readmissions, and cost savings of $656 per episode when compared with patients not using HealthLoop.
Hospitals who deliver high-quality care at a lower cost will succeed in today’s value-based care environment. And that success hinges on fostering a deep patient-provider relationship based on regular check-ins and dialogue.
Patients who are engaged daily by their care teams are not only satisfied patients, they are loyal patients. They are highly likely to recommend their provider online, and to steer friends and family to the same provider.
At HealthLoop, we’ve found that 92 percent of patients who engage with their care teams via automated, daily check-ins are “Extremely Likely to Recommend” their physicians to other people.
They are also more likely to rate their physician online. In fact, when we ask happy patients if they'd be willing to leave an external review, 66 percent chose to do so, leading to an average 1 star increase in those external scores.
Loyal patients aren’t just satisfied patients. They also boost the bottom line.
Boosting Loyalty Through Engagement
Patients are increasingly making healthcare decisions based on whether a provider offers the means to communicate regularly with their care team.
Patients who’ve experienced automated daily check-ins do not want to give that up and will go out of their way to stay with a physician who uses this kind of communication.
Administrators have the chance to get ahead of the curve and give patients what they want or they will be left behind in today’s competitive healthcare marketplace. Meaningful patient engagement is boosting referrals, building patient loyalty, and growing market share. It enables what has always worked well in healthcare: the human connection.