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7 Ways You Can Improve the Patient Experience

by Sara Foster | Nov 13, 2019

This article was written by Jessica Levco, a healthcare writer who covered HCIC19 for Greystone.Net.

Indiana University Health puts the patient at the center of everything they do. photo of 2 people discussing something on a computer screen

At the 23rd annual Greystone.net Healthcare Internet conference in Orlando, Jeremy Rogers, (fun fact: he likes to swim with sharks — seriously) the executive director of digital marketing and experience at IU Health, was joined by Brian Gresh, president of Loyal.

The two talked about how they teamed up to make patients the No. 1 priority in their marketing efforts. Here’s a look at how they did it:

  • Partnered with the customer experience team: The customer experience team and marketing team are closely aligned. Why? “Sometimes, we forget that patients have choices and they make their choices based on digital convenience — whether it’s being able to make an online appointment or paying their bills,” Rogers says. “Our marketing team uses the insights we hear back from our customer experience team to enhance our marketing capabilities.”
  • Asked questions:  IU Health Insiders is a group of about 2,500+ patients who have elected to participate in online surveys, focus groups and volunteer for media interviews. When the marketing team asks this group questions (a recent one was about clothing attire for nurses), they take back what they’ve learned from this group to the C-suite to make real, actionable changes.
  • Built a better Find a Provider: Rogers considers this page their marquee brand experience for patients. It includes videos from doctors, opportunities for online scheduling, star reviews and easy ways for patients to filter what they’re looking for in a doctor.
  • Renewed focus on online scheduling: “Online scheduling isn’t a technical problem,” Gresh says. “It’s doable. You’ve just got to change the mindset. Imagine going to Delta’s website and seeing a list of pilots, but not being able to book a flight. That wouldn’t make sense.” Right now, about 6 percent of all appointments at IU Health are made online. Both expect that number to grow even more in 2020.
  • Produced physician videos: Whether it was because the doctor said they had four kids or liked to hike — these details mattered to patients. They want to make an appointment with someone they could relate to. Right now, there are about 800 physician videos online. The marketing team is looking at doing some A/B testing for future videos (lab coat vs. casual dress) to see what resonates most with patients. “It’s a low-tech, easy win,” Gresh says.
  • Made website visits personal (but not creepy): The website is built around geography and timing. For example, there’s a message on the homepage about what services are available to you, based on your location. Urgent care is promoted between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and ER locations show up in the wee hours of the night.
  • Created chatbots: Right now, there’s a chatbot on their billing page. The bot has been trained to answer a variety of questions. Gresh admits that it’s hard to control what people will ask it, but most of the time, it’s not clinical information they’re after. Each Friday, the marketing team’s “Bot Collective” meets to look at what people are asking and figure out how to make improvements, whether it’s updating service line copy or creating new pages to answer popular questions. 
  • brian gresh
  • Jeremy Rogers
  • healthcare conference
  • HCIC19
  • HealthCare Digital Marketing
  • customer experience
  • patient experience

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