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The Doctor is (Virtually) In: COVID and Telemedicine Experience

I recently talked about COVID-19’s effects on hospital visits and how the pandemic has reshaped patients’ healthcare facility expectations. But this isn’t the only experience arena that the Coronavirus is impacting.

Many patients—especially those at high risk—prefer virtual visits and consultations with their doctors. As a result, there’s been a sharp uptick in telemedicine over the course of this year.

Of course, just like hospitals themselves, virtual consultations face new experience challenges amid COVID. Therefore, healthcare brands must address those challenges directly in order to build trust with their patients. Those challenges, and their solutions, are the focus of this article.

Consultation Considerations

The telemedicine experience is dramatically different from a walk-in visit, especially when it comes to collecting feedback. A virtual visit presents more immediate opportunities to collect feedback from patients, though this poses a new challenge: healthcare brands need to avoid inundating patients with countless questions.

The best approach for hospitals and providers to take here is to provide feedback opportunities at the beginning and end of virtual visits. This gives patients an opportunity to voice their expectations at the start of the consultation and follow up on how well those expectations were met. This one-two strategy strikes a careful balance between survey frequency and patient comfort (which is obviously key to building a great experience for them).

Telemedicine Experience Checkup 

It’s important to remember that anyone who submits feedback expects brands to act on it. This is especially true for hospitals, which means it’s vital that healthcare brands parse through virtual visit feedback carefully. An experience platform that can ingest and analyze feedback, especially unstructured data, is key to this end. Hospitals can succeed by considering their audiences, designing their listening programs around those audiences, then executing an action plan.

Taking action on patient feedback is especially important these days. Healthcare customers have always expected providers to act on their concerns, but the pandemic has sent that expectation into the stratosphere. Thus, patients are paying especially close attention to their virtual visits—and how hospitals respond.

To recap, hospitals can ensure that their patients are receiving the best telemedicine possible by:

  1. Designing their listening program around tangible goals and important audiences
  2. Listening carefully to those audiences
  3. Ingesting feedback, especially unstructured data, to heighten patient understanding
  4. Applying subsequent learnings to the wider organization
  5. Achieving a better virtual experience for patients

Healthcare providers that stick to this strategy will not only make it out the other side of this pandemic, but also do so in a far better position for themselves and the patients for whom they provide quality care.

To learn more about the lasting effects of Coronavirus on the patient experience, check out this full article by Jason Macedonia here.

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Jason Macedonia

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