Clinicians can improve patient care by increasing the quality of touchpoints throughout a patient's healthcare journey. Touchpoints are specific moments of interaction between the patient and the healthcare provider that can significantly impact the patient experience.
By increasing the quality of touchpoints, clinicians can improve patient engagement, communication, outcome and overall satisfaction with the healthcare experience.
The following examples illustrate how clinicians can improve patient care and most if not all are readily achievable in modern practice:
Using technology to increase touchpoints can provide various options for patients throughout their healthcare journey. For example, clinicians can use secure messaging apps to communicate with patients outside of appointments, provide educational materials or answer questions via telemedicine, and send appointment reminders via text or email.
Provide ongoing support and follow-up after appointments is crucial to ensuring paatients receive the necessary care and support they need. Clinicians can provide follow-up appointments, phone calls, or emails to check in with patients, answer questions, and provide ongoing support throughout their healthcare journey.
Offer patient education concentrating on their healthcare needs, treatment options, and disease prevention can help patients make informed decisions about their health. Clinicians can provide patient education materials, such as brochures or online resources, and take the time to explain information in a way that patients can understand.
Personalising care is crucial to building trust and engagement with patients. Clinicians can use touchpoints to learn more about their patients' preferences, concerns, and goals and tailor their care accordingly. Personalising care can help patients feel heard, understood, and supported throughout their healthcare journey.
The patient journey is the sum of all touchpoints
It is vital to appreciate the sum of all touchpoints is as important as individual touchpoints. In the ever complex world of healthcare delivery, patients interact with many facets of health providers. Take for example a streamlined web-based appointment scheduling service offering patients the next free consultation slot. Patients may appreciate the simplicity of such a service. However, what if specific services are only offered by select clinicians. A wasted consultation may need to be re-booked. This not only impacts resource use, but also leaves the patient understandably dissatisfied.
Care and forethought needs to be given to the application of any 'improvement'
Paying attention to the touchpoints throughout a patient's healthcare journey can improve patient care and overall satisfaction with the healthcare experience. By using technology to increase touchpoints, providing ongoing support and follow-up, offering patient education, and personalising care, clinicians can build stronger relationships with their patients and promote positive health outcomes.