The most critical focus for any healthcare institution is providing the highest quality of care to their patients in the safest way possible. Whether it is treating them in the ER or in a clinic, patient care takes precedence over everything else. Over the past few years, healthcare technology has taken many leaps. Advances in decision support systems via electronic medical records, innovative medical devices and changes to processes/procedures have made it possible to treat many conditions more effectively than ever before.
However, healthcare providers need to start thinking about enhancing the patient experience. Hospitals and clinics can be stressful for patients and their family members. Anything that can help alleviate the anxiety can improve on their overall experience.
There are small steps that healthcare providers can take to ensure their patients not only get the best quality of care, but it is delivered through a great experience. Let’s look at some of these examples:
1. Patient ID
Patient identity theft is a problem that continues to rise in the U.S. According to Q3 Protenus Breach Barometer report, there were 117 disclosed healthcare data breaches leading to the loss of over 4.4 million patient records in the third quarter of 2018 alone. This is where a secure patient identity management system can help.
Many countries outside of the U.S. have implemented secure patient identification systems that curb identity theft and help reduce fraud. In fact, we have been working with healthcare providers in Germany and France to implement these solutions and help solve this problem for the past few years. By implementing a Patient ID system in the U.S., providers will not only keep sensitive data from being stolen but assure patients that their information is safe and focus on providing high-quality care.
2. Digital Form Management and Patient Intake
For years, processes like patient intake, forms management and medical records have taken place on physical paper. Migrating these processes to digital forms makes it more efficient for healthcare providers. It also ensures a better experience for the patients who would rather not fill out long arduous forms while being sick and visiting the doctors. Solutions including payment terminals and tablet-based mobile POS devices can make the forms more convenient to fill and sign digitally.
3. Secure Payment Acceptance
Like other industries, payment security needs to be a priority for healthcare providers. They need to equip themselves with modern solutions that accept all latest forms of electronic payments including EMV and NFC/contactless. Providers also need to take a multi-layered security approach for their payment infrastructure to better protect sensitive patient information from cybercriminals. In addition to EMV, this approach includes point-to-point encryption (P2PE) which encrypts payment data while it is in transit. The other piece in this approach is tokenization that helps protect the sensitive cardholder information at rest. When used in tandem, this not only ensures the security of transactions that take place in a hospital or clinic but also help enhance the patient experience by using modern payment solutions.
4. Antimicrobial Technology
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that each year two million hospital patients contract a Healthcare Associated Infection, costing the hospitals an estimated $45 billion annually and leading to 100,000 patient deaths.
The “care” zones within healthcare facilities are designed to be germ-free and curb the growth of bacteria to avoid the spreading of germs. However, the technology used within these facilities, whether a copier machine, telephone or even payment solutions, need to be protected with antimicrobial solutions to shield incoming patients, family and friends from other diseases.
Antimicrobial commerce solutions also help in creating additional touchpoints for providers with their patients to accept payments. They can even accept payment at the bedside for appropriate scenarios.
5. Reach Patients Where They Are with Mobility
There are many scenarios where patients need to pay a healthcare provider prior to or immediately after receiving care. Examples include – copays for a doctor visit, payment to the lab for additional tests, payments at the ER and even working with a patient financial consultant for a planned three-day hospital visit.
Healthcare providers need to accept this payment in a timely manner and by providing the convenience of mobility, they can do so right where the patient is. Mobile POS solutions can help these providers enhances the overall experience. Taking these innovative solutions to the patients wherever they are can be a challenge as these devices cannot be taken into a hospital’s “care zone” to protect against potential infections. However, antimicrobial mobile POS solutions can help providers break this barrier and cater to their patients wherever they are without worrying about the spread of infectious diseases to other patients, family members or staff.
Patient Experience is Key
Enhancing patient experience is important to a healthcare provider and some of these methods can help them improve efficiency in their facilities. Providing the best care to the patients is the top concern but enhancing their experience can alleviate the anxiety of being in a hospital or clinic. Learn more about how you can improve patient experience in your hospital or clinic, contact us today!
David Stewart is VP of Healthcare at Ingenico Group, North America