The global pandemic, besides being a significant health challenge, has also been a driver for change in many aspects of life. Industries have been forced to adapt rapidly to new situations, and the healthcare sector is no exception. Perhaps one of the most notable shifts has been the evolution in what patients now expect from their healthcare providers, especially hospitals.
Prior to the pandemic, the interactions between patients and healthcare providers largely occurred within the confines of a hospital or clinic. Fast forward to today, and it's clear that the healthcare experience has fundamentally changed, significantly influenced by the need for contactless and remote services.
The Emergence of the Healthcare Consumer
When we talk about 'patients,' we're now increasingly talking about 'consumers' – people who are actively seeking out and choosing their healthcare services, much as they would any other product or service. This shift is mainly driven by the broad adoption of technology in everyday life. According to a 2021 study by Pew Research, 85% of Americans own smartphones. This widespread accessibility to technology has set a precedent – consumers now expect brands, including hospitals, to offer their services in an easy and convenient way.
During the pandemic, businesses from various sectors scrambled to offer contactless ways to engage with their services. A notable example of this was the QR code. While somewhat obscure before the pandemic, QR codes have now become commonplace as businesses found them to be a simple and effective way for customers to access their services using smartphones.
This shift towards contactless and digital interactions has not been lost on the healthcare sector. Hospitals, particularly smaller ones, are now required to rethink their patient engagement strategies. They need to consider how they can interact and engage with patients beyond the traditional hospital setting, embracing digital solutions to offer patients a seamless healthcare experience.
Embracing Mobile Solutions and Effective Marketing
Hospitals must strive to make the most of mobile technology, given the high smartphone ownership rates. By offering mobile solutions like online appointment booking, digital access to health records, virtual consultations, and easy communication with healthcare professionals, hospitals can meet the expectations of today's tech-savvy healthcare consumers.
However, adopting these technologies isn't enough on its own. Hospitals also need to use the power of marketing to proactively communicate to patients about these digital offerings. They must make sure their patients know that connecting with the hospital is now as simple as scanning a QR code or clicking a button on a mobile app. This communication is vital to help patients feel confident and informed about their healthcare choices.
Hospitals that successfully implement these changes stand to gain the most. By providing an easy, convenient, and safe way for patients to access and interact with their services, hospitals can not only meet the evolving expectations of their patients but also strengthen their reputation and trust in their community.
At Novel Koncept, we understand the importance of this digital transformation in the healthcare sector. We are dedicated to assisting hospitals, especially smaller ones, in their journey towards offering a seamless and digitally integrated healthcare experience. From web design to marketing strategies, we offer solutions that help hospitals meet the demands of the modern healthcare consumer.
Remember, the pandemic may have been the catalyst for change, but the shift in patient expectations is here to stay. It's time for hospitals to embrace the new normal and evolve with their patients. We are here to help make that evolution a successful one.