The Patient Experience Doesn’t End at Last Touch
Over the past several decades industries such as banks, hotels, airlines and others have been competing on service to attract and retain customers. In the past 5 years, this mindset has started to work its way into the healthcare world and the results are impressive. Studies have shown that a positive patient experience results in improved outcomes and enhanced profitability for the hospital. Recently we have seen patient experience become a priority for addiction treatment centers.
Patient experience starts the moment the patient interacts with your treatment centers. In many cases this “first touch” is with your website or someone on your admissions team. To improve the experience, focus on providing value while reducing stress and anxiety. Research shows that reducing a patient’s stress will increase trust and the likelihood of a successful treatment plan improves as well.
We often think of the patient experience as starting at “first touch” and ending after treatment. But the need to provide a great experience, extends well after treatment has ended. Author Nick Webb, spoke at Moments of Change 2016 and challenged everyone to work hard at the “in touch moment.” This is the phase after your patients have left treatment, but where engagement and patient experience are just as important. In the “in touch moment” you should be focusing on providing value to your alumni, in a way that makes them feel part of a larger community.
Here are a few things to consider as you look at your alumni experience:
- Focus on staying connected and engaged with your alumni across multiple channels, especially mobile.
- Provide opportunities for your alumni to stay connected to each other. Alumni events are a good start, but more needs to be done to connect alumni who go home after treatment.
- Always deliver value through content. Content is a great way to educate, inform, and entertain, but you must find ways to make it targeted and personalized.
- Look at ways to take online conversations and turn them into offline community. An example is to find opportunities to connect alumni who might be living in the same area to create local alumni meetup events.
As we enter 2017, we should challenge ourselves to take our “Alumni Programs” and turn them into “Alumni Experiences.” It won’t happen overnight, but when this change happens you will see outcomes improve and alumni transform into ambassadors.
The CaredFor app helps addiction treatment centers to connect, engage, and influence their alumni. Our app is branded as the treatment center and offers a sober community for alumni to form community throughout their recovery. With features created specifically for the recovery community, the CaredFor app is more than a private Facebook group. Included in our app is an analytics suite which helps treatment centers to learn more about their alumni, create impactful content, and identify alumni who are brand ambassadors.