Patient retention

Why a Contactless Patient Experience is Essential to Your Practice’s Growth

May 15, 2020
7 min read
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Why a Contactless Patient Experience is Essential to Your Practice’s Growth
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With your medical practice reopened, it’s time to consider going contactless if you haven’t done so already. A contactless experience allows patients to receive care virtually or in the office in a way that avoids unnecessary person-to-person contact. 

Of course, these measures are essential to keeping patients and care teams safe in the era of COVID-19. Instead of lamenting the “new normal,” leaders who are planning their practice’s long-term strategy embrace this opportunity to digitize their workflows for reasons beyond immediate safety. These leaders understand that a contactless patient experience is essential to maintaining a healthy patient volume. The time is right to accelerate the implementation of what they’ve been planning for a while now.

This paper covers three main reasons why your practice needs to adopt a contactless patient experience for both immediate and long-term success:

  1. Safety measures will help patients and staff feel more comfortable returning to healthcare facilities.
  2. Workflows will be consistent across care delivery mechanisms, driving operational efficiency.
  3. Convenience will attract new patients and keep existing patients loyal.

At a contactless medical practice, staff perform administrative tasks with ease, patients are impressed with a friction-free experience, and everyone feels better about coming into the office.

Reassure patients by providing a contactless experience

In a Morning Consult survey, only 18% of U.S. adults admitted they’re comfortable eating at a restaurant or going on a vacation. It’s a figure that plummets for other everyday activities. So what about returning to healthcare facilities? Public Opinion Strategies and Jarrard released a study revealing only 13% of Americans plan to schedule a routine visit in their doctor’s office immediately.

Take a glance at the long-term outlook in this study—Americans aren’t fully decided on when they’ll schedule a routine visit or elective procedure again. Only 21% of respondents said they’d schedule a routine visit in their doctor’s office or an elective procedure in a hospital in 4-6 months. Conclusively, the data as a whole indicates that Americans are split on returning to healthcare facilities. 

You can combat these fears by making your practice contactless and communicating these changes to your patients (along with other safety measures such as testing procedures or mask requirements). This will allow you to deliver as much care as possible now, while it’s still relatively safe to do so.

Going contactless keeps patient workflows consistent

COVID-19 ushered in an era of telemedicine that’s vital to the future of healthcare, mainly due to industry stakeholders improving the availability of and accessibility to virtual care options. It’s becoming more common for patients to receive care without setting foot in the doctor’s office. We can expect that trend to continue and become a permanent staple of how medicine is practiced.

Most patients will want to receive care from the comfort of their home whenever possible. They’ll want to be evaluated over telemedicine initially but come into the office for an actual procedure. That means you’ll need to create workflows that accommodate a hybrid approach where some visits are carried out in the office, and others take place online. 

Many practices have created haphazard digital workflows to accomplish telemedicine visits only. Those may have worked in a pinch. But in the long-term, they need to be integrated with the physical workflow and consistent with the way your office operates overall. Experts are now advising practices to coordinate telemedicine visits in the same way they organize in-person visits. After all, telemedicine is simply another way to deliver care and should be treated as such.

The best way to do this is by digitizing in-office workflows. This allows for efficiency in operations while helping to protect all parties against potential illnesses. Plus, patients will appreciate the consistency and seamless nature of the experience that your practice offers, no matter how they see your providers. 

Contactless is convenient for patients

In the era of consumerization, providers are responsible not only for the quality of care but the quality of the patient experience. If patients can’t access care conveniently, they’ll go somewhere else (and leave negative reviews in their wake). 80% of patients select providers based on convenience factors alone. This isn’t new information, but in the wake of this telemedicine explosion, experts predict that the sentiment of consumerism will only extend further, and patients will expect digitally integrated care.

A contactless workflow is essential for safety, but it’s also a much better experience for patients. Touching a pen that someone else has used is not currently safe, but patients never particularly enjoyed having to show up 15 minutes early for an appointment to sit in a waiting room filling out forms. By sending a form electronically, patients will feel more comfortable coming to the office, and they’ll appreciate completing everything faster well ahead of time. And that’s only one small example.

How patients experience a contactless medical practice today with Klara

To roll out an effective contactless approach, a practice must choose a solution that covers the patient’s journey, whether they deliver care in person or virtually. Every part of the patient journey can rely on Klara’s platform—scheduling, insurance collection, intake, follow-up, and more.

Let’s look at a sample journey of a patient who has a scheduled procedure:

  • A few days before the visit: The patient submits insurance information and completes forms electronically from their phone after receiving a prompt by text. This includes a COVID-19 screening form to confirm they’re not symptomatic or at risk of spreading infection.
  • The day before the visit: The patient is reminded (by text) to fast 12 hours before the procedure and reads instructions to understand what to expect (including information about safety precautions and increased risk during COVID-19).
  • The time of the visit: The patient texts your practice to let them know they’ve arrived at the office and gets a text back, letting them know it’s time to enter. Upon entry, the patient heads directly to the visiting room. When the procedure is over, the patient leaves immediately, knowing they’ll receive another text with a link to pay for treatment.
  • The evening of the visit: The patient receives a text with instructions on how to care for themselves after the procedure.
  • A few days after the visit: The patient provides feedback on their level of satisfaction with the visit by responding to a simple text prompt.
  • One week after the visit: The patient joins a scheduled follow-up video visit with their doctor to check how everything is healing.

Other than the text at the time of the visit, this outreach can be sent automatically through Klara. It’s fully customizable by appointment type, so you can offer different information depending on whether it’s a new patient or existing patient, a telemedicine visit or in-office surgery, etc. That way, you’re using the same technology to set up and carry out workflows for all types of visits while maintaining the ability to customize parts of the experience as needed. All of these tasks are performed through a single, reliable platform that’s accessible inside and outside of the office.

Klara is a contactless medical practice’s go-to solution

With an end-to-end virtual care platform, Klara turns any practice into a contactless practice that operates more efficiently, provides a world-class patient experience, and makes everyone comfortable about returning to the office.

Contactless medical practices choose Klara for its security, simplicity, and rich feature set. This includes real-time video visits, secure messaging, automatic outreach, and team collaboration. Physicians and staff put safety first, but they’re also organizing the patient journey in a structure that’s intuitive. Klara is an all-in-one, centralized platform that acts as a virtual extension of a traditional practice and its brick-and-mortar location.

Klara is the best solution for practices seeking to go contactless, operationalizing communication workflows so that physicians and their staff deliver excellent care to patients through an efficient, secure platform. It’s an end-to-end virtual care platform that helps practices stay connected with patients, in-office and virtually.

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Simon Bolz, Co-Founder, Klara

A serial entrepreneur, Simon founded two technology companies in Berlin. He then found his true passion in healthcare helping build Germany’s most innovative implantology clinic group. Simon studied at the London School of Economics, Humboldt Universität Berlin, and got a Masters at the New School for Social Research in New York. In 2013, he and Simon Lorenz, Ph.D. founded Klara with the mission to transform communication in healthcare, so every patient can receive great care.

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