This article was written by Genny Gordon, who is a Content Marketing Manager at Kyruus, an industry leader in enterprise provider search, scheduling, and data management solutions for health systems. Kyruus is helping more than 55 leading health systems across the United States transform how patients access care.
COVID-19 has profoundly impacted the delivery of care in the United States. One of the areas that has experienced rapid change is undoubtedly virtual care. Prior to COVID-19, it lacked broad adoption. However, 72% of patients in a recent survey reported having had their first virtual visit during the pandemic and the vast majority now seek it as a standard part of their future care, according to a new report from Kyruus.
While many health systems stood up programs seemingly overnight and most patients express high levels of satisfaction with their virtual visits, the report also revealed opportunities for organizations to elevate their offerings to drive continued adoption and differentiation.
So how can you build upon your virtual care strategy and further integrate virtual care visits into your digital front door? Here are 5 ways to do so:
- Market your virtual offerings more broadly online: Over 50% of consumers start their search for care online, yet in the case of virtual care visits, the majority of patients learned about the option through their existing providers. To increase awareness for this type of appointment, make sure you have a robust communication plan to provide information about virtual care across your digital channels (e.g. GoogleMyBusiness profiles, social media, etc.).
- Surface virtual visits within your find-a-provider experience: Beyond search engines, consumers often turn to health system websites when searching for providers online. Ensure that your virtual care services are not only highly visible on your website, but also that your provider profiles indicate which providers offer virtual visits so they appear in search results when consumers search for applicable terms.
- Enable patients to book their virtual visits online: Despite some organizations offering in-person appointments again, not all patients feel comfortable returning to the provider office – and some might not for a while. In addition to highlighting which providers deliver care virtually, allow patients to book online–in fact, 54% of consumers prefer to book virtual care visits this way. By doing so, you will not only enable patients with ongoing or routine care needs to seek care safely, but also capture demand.
- Provide clear direction and next steps after the visit: While patients’ overall experiences with virtual visits were positive, only 45% left feeling like they understood what the next steps were. For health systems looking to elevate their patient experience, there is a significant opportunity to close the loop after these visits, primarily by clarifying next steps and how to access virtual visits in the future.
- Track results and optimize for success: As mentioned above, most patients now want virtual care to be a standard part of their care and 54% would actually switch providers to receive care this way. To scale your offerings and differentiate them moving forward, establish key KPIs to monitor your program and incoming demand for virtual care. Additionally, ask patients for feedback on their visits to uncover potential access barriers or dissatisfaction drivers.
Want additional insight into patient perspectives on virtual care? Read Kyruus’ full report.