How a self-service approach can boost healthcare customer satisfaction

Whether from regulatory changes or customer expectations, it seems that healthcare organizations face new pressures every day. To satisfy customers and remain competitive, your organization must be able to innovate on a dime. Are you ready to face today’s challenges, or is your technology slowing you down?

Challenges for healthcare organizations

Healthcare organizations and providers face new pressures in serving their external customers, from patients to partners. These include: 

  • Maintaining multiple channels for customer interaction: Customers are interacting with your organization in a variety of ways, including the call center, the website, or the mobile app. Some have health navigators who may need to access different information. Providing current, accurate information on every channel and ensuring all types of users can easily access it adds complexity for healthcare IT teams.
  • Rising customer expectations: Standards for customer service are higher than ever.  Those who are dissatisfied have no qualms about complaining publicly if their expectations aren’t met. This can damage your organization’s reputation and demoralize frontline employees.
  • Digital natives: Younger generations prefer to engage with your organization on mobile devices. Snail mail, email, or websites that aren’t mobile optimized just won’t do. Your mobile experience has to be seamless.
  • Third parties: Regulatory efforts to speed progress toward interoperability and offer more transparency around healthcare pricing, such as the Transparency in Coverage executive order, require integrating data from an ever-growing number of third-party intermediaries.
  • Hiring challenges: Hiring qualified workers is increasingly difficult and costly. Many frontline teams are short-staffed. How can you reduce the burden on your employees?

The self-service solution

There’s a simple solution to these challenges: enabling self-service through portals that empower customers to get what they need quickly and easily. Customer effort directly influences customer loyalty: according to Gartner, 96% of customers who have a high-effort service interaction become more disloyal, compared to just 9% who have a low-effort experience. Automating processes can enhance the digital experiences for members, patients, and partners, while reducing the burden on frontline employees.

But the demand for a seamless digital experience puts additional stress on already overburdened IT teams. Developers need the agility to respond to a constantly changing regulatory environment and an ongoing barrage of demand for new APIs. However, the current approach to development is riddled with roadblocks that slow business innovation. Development teams must orchestrate complex authentication and consent processes across multiple platforms and environments, navigate both machine and human approvals, and deal with siloed systems—all while managing the cost of compliance.

Developers want the same thing healthcare customers want: a low-effort experience. They want to register, get their security tokens, download documentation, attest to whatever is needed, see parameters, test, and ask to be promoted, all in an automated way. Like customers, they want to get in, get what they need, and get out.

A new approach to app development

Just as with healthcare customers, a self-service approach can deliver the low-effort experience healthcare organizations and their developers want while reducing costs, speeding innovation, and enhancing profitability. The solution: an open platform approach to API management.

Open platform API management can provide the autonomy development teams need while maintaining central governance. Automation can make it easier for developers to find, access and use both in-house and third-party APIs, so they can rapidly build, test, and deploy new solutions. Streamlined access to APIs means developers don’t have to reinvent the wheel — they can reuse existing APIs, lightening developers’ burdens and making it easier to meet compliance deadlines.

An open platform approach to API management also eases the burden on systems, which will face even more stress with coming regulatory changes. For example, the No Surprises Act will require integrating data from even more sources to provide current, accurate information. For example, it will be critical to know which providers are in-network (covered by a health plan’s contract) to calculate the correct advanced explanation of benefits. By using streaming APIs, status changes can automatically be pushed to anyone who needs to see it, improving efficiency, minimizing bandwidth usage, and simplifying data sharing without increasing technology costs.

Automation powers the future of healthcare

The right API management platform can automate and orchestrate processes, free developers from repetitive work, and enhance organizational agility. By delivering a low-effort experience to patients and employees, healthcare organizations can overcome today’s biggest challenges and seize the future’s biggest opportunities.

Self-service isn’t the future of healthcare customer service—it’s already here. Taking the same, self-service approach to app development can power a better customer experience while empowering employees and partners and positioning your organization for a healthy future.

Learn how Axway can help: Open for innovation: Turning interoperability into opportunity

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