As technology becomes increasingly involved in all aspects of our lives, today’s patients are looking to interact with health systems in new ways, whether it’s communicating with a provider via video or booking their next appointment online. And while ⅔ of patients are more likely to choose a provider with online scheduling, according to a recent study, few organizations offer the modern digital capabilities patients have come to expect from their healthcare experience.1
With patients becoming more discerning consumers and new competitors (e.g. CVS, Walgreens, & Amazon) offering them greater convenience, health systems have been challenged to look at themselves and ask, “how easy are we to interact with?” For one health system, this became the question that aligned their entire organization behind a mission to differentiate their patient experience system-wide.
At Piedmont Healthcare, a not-for-profit health system in Georgia, meeting growing competition meant embracing change and creating a frictionless digital scheduling experience that “is as easy as booking a restaurant reservation or hotel room.”2 Using ProviderMatch, the Piedmont team is driving digital innovation to put the needs of their growing patient population first. Here’s how:
- Offering Scheduling Online: Today’s consumers expect to select healthcare the same way they purchase products on Amazon, with lots of information and an easy checkout experience. By creating a rich provider directory and enabling consumers to book directly online, Piedmont’s start-to-finish experience is giving their customers the power to weigh their care options and book whenever and wherever they want. In fact, ⅓ of Piedmont’s online appointments are booked outside of normal office hours.
- Gaining Organizational Alignment: Piedmont’s first step to implementing online scheduling? Getting buy-in from their organization. By engaging key stakeholders, in particular, providers, to agree upon the right kinds of appointments to offer online consumers early on, Piedmont was able to scale the program rapidly. By early 2019, Piedmont saw 3,000+ appointments a week directly into Epic–a number that continues to rise as they rapidly increase the number of providers on the platform.
- Increasing Access & Choice: Transforming patient access didn’t stop there. Piedmont also surfaced their rich provider directory and scheduling capabilities within their app, PiedmontNow, and in the access center to improve patient-provider matching across access points. And to meet consumers everywhere they seek care, Piedmont partnered with Walgreens QuickCare to make retail appointments bookable, increasing options for convenient and timely care–of the 77k the retail appointments booked in 2018, 2/3 were for same day appointments.
By making their organization easy to interact with–across points of access–and creating seamless transitions between care settings, Piedmont was able to not only differentiate their brand, but also drive new patient growth. To learn how they made online scheduling a reality, join us May 30th for a webinar with Piedmont’s VP of Patient Experience, Katie Logan.
1 Accenture. Accenture 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey, 2019.
2 Neighbor Staff. “Piedmont Healthcare to Expand Online Scheduling.” MDJOnline.com, 21 Nov. 2018.