Healthcare has changed drastically in the last decade with the introduction of The Affordable Care Act over ten years ago and a current administration that vows to expand healthcare coverage to Americans in need further. Patients now have access to health plans that offer more flexibility than ever before. Historically, not much effort has been put into the patient experience, but times are changing. Expanded coverage and cultural shifts have put pressure on health organizations to adjust to a patient-centric model. To compete with other providers, healthcare companies must get to the heart of what their patients want and need with virtual interviews. Keep reading to learn more about when and how to conduct a patient interview.
When To Conduct Virtual Interviews
Though many hospitals, clinics, and private clinicians already send out patient satisfaction surveys, there are many times where medical organizations need to flesh out a particular aspect of their services further. If a provider is searching for data on their patients’ motivations, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings towards a specific facet of their business, virtual patient interviews are beneficial. For example, if a healthcare organization struggles to get patients to sign up for their online portal, they may want to conduct interviews to discover some of the reasons behind the low sign-ups.
Patient Interview Project Outline: Patient Portals
Before you can conduct patient interviews, you must first determine what information you want to gather during the interview. For example, suppose older patients are registering for the patient portal while younger patients are not. It would be helpful, in this case, to interview younger patients to determine the reasons behind their resistance.
Once you have your interview objectives, you will compile questions that are relevant to your goal. Some examples of questions to ask patients regarding their attitudes towards the patient portal include:
How did your first learn about our patient portal? i.e., At your last appointment, from an office brochure, over the phone during scheduling, etc.
What was your reaction to the patient portal? i.e., interested, disinterested, neutral, etc.
What types of features would interest you in the patient portal? i.e., messaging, payment, appointment scheduling, etc.
What format would you prefer for the portal? i.e., website, mobile app, hybrid, etc.
What discourages you from registering for the portal? i.e., time-consuming, format, functionality, etc.
After you complete your patient interviews, you will look for commonalities and trends in the responses. You may notice, for example, that most patients would prefer a mobile app version of the patient portal, which you do not currently offer, or that the portal does not offer appointment scheduling which makes it less alluring. You can then use these findings to drive change in your organization.
At the end of the day, the future of healthcare is all about giving consumers a voice, just like any other industry. Patients want the ability to manage their health when, how, and where they want, and organizations that listen to them will stand out from the pack.
Learn more about the healthcare industry by viewing our webinar, “Accelerating Connected Health in Disease During Covid-19”.