Healthcare has long been an innovator in leveraging technology to advance healthcare operations, from enhanced patient care and faster information sharing across providers and payers, to streamlining administrative tasks which allows providers to focus on patients. Despite this, healthcare lags in the customer experience journey compared with many other industries and it presents some of the most vexing obstacles for healthcare organizations, payers and their patients.
A good proportion of healthcare leaders feel that managing increasing interaction volume and channel complexity are among the biggest organizational challenges. As noted in our U.S. Healthcare Trends report, both healthcare providers and payers are having a hard time keeping up with increasingly high patient expectations around services in the face of lingering staff shortages and escalating costs.
The outsized role of patient experience
At issue is that patient experience is no longer limited to the clinic setting. Today, patient experience encompasses every step of the healthcare journey, including the web, scheduling, billing, insurance and more. Providers and payers are challenged with connecting omnichannel touchpoints to create a more holistic patient experience. This is leading many leading healthcare organizations and payers to turning to providers to achieve a fully connected digital experience.
Interestingly, access and patient experience are becoming so important that trends suggest patients are more likely to leave their healthcare providers or payers due to service-related issues than clinical experiences and benefits-related issues. On the provider side, beyond the desire for price transparency, the combination of low-quality digital experiences and challenges with administrative support appear to be causing greater frustration among patients than actual clinical experiences. On the payer side, in addition to the desire for accurate cost estimates, a combination of low-quality digital experiences, concerns about handling personal data and poor information and at times service seem more important for customers than actual benefits and coverage.
Keeping pace with digital-first healthcare
To improve the patient service experience, many leading healthcare organizations and payers are turning to third-party digital business service providers like Teleperformance to help connect the disparate service touchpoints and create a more holistic patient experience that is faster, easier and more personalized for patients.
Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) is helping to address these challenges as the digital enterprise continues to evolve. In fact, wider adoption of AI in the U.S. healthcare system is predicted to save $360 billion annually – roughly 10% of the country’s health care spending – in the next five years, according to the Deloitte 2024 Global Health Care Sector Outlook.
In this spirit, Teleperformance sees opportunities to connect and streamline patient services using its people-led, tech-powered approach to create stronger patient-centric touch points.
For providers, this means using automation, AI and machine learning to scale and enhance front-office provider operations with robust omnichannel customer support through patient-preferred channels such as phone, email, chat bots, social media and more. The result is faster, more convenient and personalized support for patient queries, scheduling and reminders, while enabling providers to allocate staff resources toward complex patient requests. On back-office operations, automated coding uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to automate ICD-10 coding, reducing coding costs by up to 25%.
On the payer side, Teleperformance administrative management services help streamline inquiries through a centralized high-tech, high-touch approach that combines digital, AI-powered tools with highly trained patient advocates to help create faster, more flexible and more personalized engagement across member and provider support, enrollment and billing, prior authorization approvals, grievance and appeals reviews, data capture, clinical review, benefits and wellness education, client staffing support and collections services.
AI and machine learning can also be applied to help providers measure and analyze the sentiment, tone and satisfaction of patient engagement at scale and help payers gain a better understanding of their patients’ behaviors to anticipate their needs and create more personalized and efficient engagement and support.
Digital patient support solutions are an effective way to streamline and enhance people-led patient services and increase patient satisfaction while alleviating budget pressures and freeing up staff time to focus on patients. While technology will help augment and improve the patient experience going forward, human beings will remain at the center of the support process.
Visit Teleperformance.com to learn more about current trends in personalized patient care.