Understanding Digitalization and its Impact on Healthcare

Understanding Digitalization and its Impact on Healthcare

Digitalization is a trend that’s influencing our entire society and reaching into every corner of our lives – including the healthcare industry. Today we can track the number of daily steps we take and have access to our records right at our fingertips. Perhaps a more significant impact of digitalization can be seen in the areas of medical practice operations and patient payments.  

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Understanding Digitalization and its Impact on Healthcare

Nov 28, 2018

Understanding Digitalization and its Impact on Healthcare

Understanding Digitalization and its Impact on Healthcare

Digitalization is a trend that’s influencing our entire society and reaching into every corner of our lives – including the healthcare industry. Today we can track the number of daily steps we take and have access to our records right at our fingertips. Perhaps a more significant impact of digitalization can be seen in the areas of medical practice operations and patient payments.

Digitalization, Marketing and New Patients

There are 5.1 billion mobile users globally and 4 billion internet users,1 proving that communicating with prospective and existing patients via the internet will be imperative in the coming years. It’s common for health practices to view digital marketing as an afterthought because there are more urgent tasks at the forefront – but it’s very important to consider as you look to increase your patient base. Start with the five stages of the prospective patient’s decision process:

  1. Need or desire to seek healthcare.
  2. Research (mostly online) local providers and what they offer.
  3. Prospective patients typically need to be exposed to your practice three to five times before taking action.
  4. They then go online to learn about the practice that caught their eye, including office location and existing patient reviews.
  5. When they’re ready to schedule an appointment, they will reach out.

Effective Communication

Another way to make the most of the positive effects of digitalization is to encourage new communication channels that are convenient for both the patient and office staff – including a website and social media presence. If you do so, make sure all your online information is accurate and up-to-date.

Your Online Presence

It’s imperative that your practice has an online presence for new and existing patients to find and learn about you. 34% of Americans say that Google™ was their primary source for choosing a doctor.2 Creating a detailed, informative, easy-to-navigate website gives a prospective patient the knowledge they need about your office to ultimately have them take action (i.e. schedule an appointment). If your website is effective, they will take that action. A healthy online presence is essential and valued by prospective patients. Monitor review sites – along with your website, your online reputation acts as the first impression of your practice.

Your Social Media Presence

Social media is essentially free advertising for your practice, so take advantage. Over half of U.S. medical practices have used social media to engage patients to improve health outcomes.3 Assign a staff member the responsibility of managing your practice’s social media accounts to ensure regular updates. Monitor your profiles and messages for potential networking opportunities and create unique content that represents your practice. Here are some ideas to start posting on your practice’s social media profiles:

  • Activities, contests and/or events at the office
  • Patient of the month
  • Patient milestones and achievements (make sure you have consent)
  • Community involvement
  • Information on practice technology updates or new services offered
  • Encourage patients to tag and check-in during their visits to build brand awareness and patient referrals

People are living digital lives and when you embrace the changes to meet patients’ expectations, you improve your patient experience. Navigating through the digital age is within your reach and being prepared for it will keep your practice on course for the future.

Learn more about healthcare processing, request a free quote now or email healthcare@tsys.com for more information.

1 Digital in 2018: World’s Internet Users Pass the 4 Billion Mark, We are Social, https://wearesocial.com/us/blog/2018/01/global-digital-report-2018

2 Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement Survey, Binary Fountain, https://www.binaryfountain.com/news/binary-fountain-unveils-results-healthcare-consumer-insight-digital-engagement-survey/

3 The Social Media Determinants of Health, MGMA, https://www.mgma.com/data/data-stories/the-social-media-determinants-of-health

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