Why Children’s Hospitals Should Take A Closer Look At The Digital Experience
Let’s face it health care professionals, the front door of your hospital is no longer your front door — and it is not the emergency room either. But if that’s true, then what is?
In many cases, the “front door” is actually a hospital’s website or mobile app. Understanding this is important, but never more so than when building a stellar experience for parents of children needing care in a pediatric facility. Those parents are typically the first ones to seek out further information online by reading blogs and engaging in social media for help deciding where to seek care for their child.
While not specific to parents of patients, recent research from Pew backs up these claims:
- 1 in 3 American adults have gone online to figure out a medical condition.
- 72% of Internet users say they looked online for health information within the past year.
- 47% of Internet users search for information about doctors or other health professionals.
- 38% of Internet users search for information about hospitals and other medical facilities.
- The most commonly researched topics are specific diseases or conditions; treatments or procedures; and doctors or other health professionals.
While these numbers are impressive, in ForeSee’s experience parents looking for care for their child may skew these statistics further upward. This is why it’s important to the patient experience, even though the parent or guardian is not the patient (the child is). A children’s hospital holds “jewel of the community” status. They are continually called upon to ensure that their mission is being upheld. This needs to translate to a digital strategy as well.
Crafting a better digital experience for children’s hospitals
Children’s hospitals need to have a digital presence that is easy to interact with and understand, while also being compelling. That’s not an easy challenge, but it’s the reality of this new digital age of health care. Below are just a few components to consider when assessing that experience.
Research – Gone are the days where a brochure, or pages and pages of content, make a website worth a repeat visit. Parents need to be able to search for relevant content that is both easy to read and understand. This research component is the beginning of the relationship that parents and guardians have with children’s hospitals. (If they cannot find the information they need on a particular condition or disease, why would they ever want to actually make an appointment or use this facility for their child?)
Doctors – Looking for a provider is another popular search along with searching for medical information. As a parent, I’d want as much information as possible about the person who will be providing medical care for my children, and I’d imagine the majority of other parents feel the same. By providing an easy to use directory that not only tells the qualifications of the physician, but personal facts as well, the hospital is able to connect more with the parent. This further “binds” the parent and child to the hospital, furthering the positive patient experience.
Location – So, the children’s hospital has scored well on information and physicians. An appointment has been made by the parent. Home free, right? Not by a long shot! How does the location and mapping information look? Is parking highlighted? Are contact phone numbers readily visible on the site? If a family gets lost or wrong information is presented, all the good done prior is lost.
So where does ForeSee — and it’s technology — fit into the picture?
Well, your hospital may contain many of the components of the digital experience mentioned above, but knowing how effective you are at delivering that experience to patients (or guardians of said patients in this case) is a whole different ball game. It’s simply not enough to offer these things by checking them off a list of “digital experience must haves.” Instead, hospitals must measure that experience, which in turn can unlock the level of satisfaction patients have. In doing so, hospitals will be granted more repeat visits, higher levels recommendations, and a stronger relationship between patients and the hospital itself.
Interested in finding out more about how ForeSee’s technology can help your health care organization enhance its patient experience? Contact us now or visit the health care section of our website today.