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Improving Government Healthcare with Omnichannel Customer Engagement

Government healthcare systems worldwide are confronting critical challenges that severely impact patient experiences. Some of these hurdles include long wait times to reach a human voice, the absence of easy callback options, complicated website registration processes, and unclear, inconsistent messaging. These issues mark a distinct disparity between existing healthcare engagement mechanisms and the convenience and connectivity that today's society expects.

Continued reliance on dated methods not only causes dissatisfaction among patients but fails to meet the expectations of the modern healthcare user. Adopting an omnichannel customer engagement platform is key for government healthcare, as it simplifies communications into a single, clear system. This approach makes services more coherent and engaging for patients.

In this blog, we will explore how an omnichannel approach, reinforced by AI-powered chat capabilities, is reshaping government healthcare systems and enhancing patient experiences through seamless customer engagement.

Communication Challenges for Government Health Services

Government health organizations often encounter obstacles communicating effectively with the public across digital channels and messaging platforms. Advanced customer engagement solutions could help address these key challenges:

Complex Language Barriers

Health content frequently contains complicated medical terminology or complex language that average users struggle to comprehend. This can lead to confusion, misinterpretation, and inability to follow medical guidance.

Solution: AI-powered chat and chatbots within an omnichannel solution could process language in real-time to simplify complex phrases automatically into understandable explanations while talking to the customer over chat.

Information Overload

Government health sites tend to overload users with dense information across many pages and sites. Combined with ineffective search tools, this makes finding necessary information tedious and frustrating.

Solution: Intelligent search functionalities on an engagement platform could guide users to the exact information needed.

Outdated Health Data

Health data presented on government websites often fails to stay current during public health crises when information evolves rapidly. This results in inaccurate or outdated guidelines being propagated.

Solution: An AI-powered customer engagement platform could provide an intelligent knowledge base and in-chat search widgets to help users quickly self-serve the answers they need. For example, a user could access a centralized knowledge base with simplified health content searchable by keywords. Or within a live chat window they could type questions that trigger an automated search, retrieving the most relevant articles to their unique inquiry. This guides users efficiently to the right information.

Privacy and Security Concerns

When interacting on government websites and text messaging, users may have fair concerns about security of their private health information. Loss of data privacy further erodes public trust.  

Solution: An omnichannel platform with end-to-end encryption could secure sensitive user information.

Lack of Personalization  

Government health communication frequently uses blanket messaging that lacks customization to a person’s unique health profile and expressed preferences. This diminishes engagement and compliance.  

Solution: An AI-powered customer engagement platform could analyze each person’s health data, demographic information, and communication preferences to deliver tailored health guidance. For example, when an individual logs into a health portal, AI-driven insights could trigger messages aligned to their age, health conditions, risk factors, interests, and preferred communication channel. This level of personalization boosts engagement and comprehension.

Technical Issues  

From broken links to site outages, people routinely struggle to reliably access health websites and messaging when they need it. Such technical issues block delivery of urgent public health updates.  

Solution: An AI-powered customer engagement platform could provide resilient infrastructure across communication channels to prevent disruptions. For example, if the health website goes down, an automated chatbot could still communicate critical alerts via text message. Or if a user encounters a broken link, the chatbot could automatically email them the missing content. This omnichannel redundancy helps ensure continuous access to vital information during outages.

Limited Outreach and Engagement

Reaching a wider user base with health messaging requires expanding beyond websites into other communication channels. Yet the government rarely taps into the full range of options to achieve omnichannel engagement.

Solution: Tapping into multiple channels beyond websites, including text, voice and video calls, click-to-call, social apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and email can engage people who may not access government websites. An integrated cross-channel approach across these communication touchpoints can achieve wider population reach.

Lack of User Feedback

Opportunities for the public to provide direct feedback about government health information and services remain scarce. User feedback is essential for continuously improving communication and transforming user experience.  

Solution: An AI-powered omnichannel customer engagement platform enables seamlessly collecting user feedback across communication channels. For example, chatbots could be programmed to ask customized NPS or CSAT survey questions during conversations. Users could easily tap a rating button at the end of text or WhatsApp exchange.  

Addressing these pain points requires a multifaceted approach, including enhancing website accessibility, simplifying language, ensuring the timeliness and accuracy of information, improving privacy and security measures, and incorporating user feedback into continuous service improvement.

Better Government Health Websites Through Omnichannel Engagement

Statistics show a strong public preference for interacting with government through websites, with 56% preferring federal, 55% state, and 50% local government sites. Given this inclination for digital services, government organizations should prioritize improving health website usability and online communications.

Implementing reliable omnichannel customer engagement solutions directly on government sites can optimize these digital interactions. Intelligent chatbots, simplified interfaces, proactive notifications and robust knowledge bases that enable self-service across user groups. Tight integration with call, email and social channels provides redundancy when websites face disruptions.

An interconnected engagement strategy recognizes how modern patients access medical services and information across an array of channels. Omnichannel customer engagement focuses on the patient, aims to accelerate decision making and eliminates navigation barriers through AI-optimization. By meeting patients on their channel of choice, governments can provide more uniform, satisfying communications resulting in efficient, personalized healthcare journeys.

Enhancing Healthcare with Omnichannel Communications Inforgraphic. Includes 6 benefits such as patient engagement, data integration, increased accessibility, personalized healthcare, consistent experience, improved efficiency.
Exploring the Benefits of Omnichannel in Healthcare Delivery and Patient Care

What are the benefits of an omnichannel approach in healthcare?

The investment in an omnichannel approach may seem daunting, given the potential financial requirements and time commitment. Nevertheless, the value it brings to your healthcare organization adds up to a worthwhile investment. Let's consider the primary benefits:

Increased Efficiency for Healthcare Providers

By employing an omnichannel strategy, tasks traditionally performed by healthcare staff can be effectively delegated across various platforms, automated in some cases, and even transferred to patients when applicable. The outcome is an overall improvement in efficiency and productivity.  

Reduced Health Risks  

Omnichannel healthcare strategies enhance the surveillance of patients' health statuses. This improved monitoring effectively mitigates the risk of health complications, advances preventive care, and may contribute to fewer hospital readmission rates.

Efficient Workflows

By integrating multiple communication and service channels, healthcare providers can ensure easy access to patient data and information, thereby simplifying workflows within their organizations. This approach also encompasses time-saving self-service options, such as online hospital admissions, bill settlements, or appointment scheduling systems.

Happier Customers  

Blending traditional healthcare objectives with customer service principles is the ultimate goal of an omnichannel healthcare strategy. It increases patient satisfaction and retention, and over time, leads to enhanced patient experiences, positive health outcomes, and more efficient healthcare processes.

Key Components of an Omnichannel Healthcare Strategy

A well-executed omnichannel strategy in healthcare significantly enhances patient satisfaction, engagement, and overall health outcomes. This strategy integrates and synchronizes various online and offline channels to create a seamless, unified, and patient-centered healthcare experience. The effectiveness and efficiency of this approach, however, are contingent on key components integral to achieving a successful omnichannel execution in healthcare.

  • Patient-Centric Approach - A system designed with the patient's needs, preferences, and behaviors at its core.
  • Integration Across Channels - A seamless integration between various modes of interaction, ensuring consistency in information and serving patients through their preferred channels.
  • Data Analytics and Management - Patient data used to gain insights, predict needs, and tailor patient interactions, following strict compliance with data privacy regulations.
  • Digital and Physical Channel Blending - A harmonious blend of traditional face-to-face healthcare delivery with digital services to complement each other.
  • Accessible and User-Friendly Technology - Implementing technology that is accessible to all patient groups and is easy to navigate.
  • Interoperable Systems - Systems and software that can interact and exchange information, allowing for a comprehensive view of patient interactions and history.
  • Continuous Communication - Ongoing communication with patients through various modes like automated reminders, follow-ups, and health tips, personalized to their preferences.
  • Training and Support for Healthcare Professionals - Healthcare staff equipped with necessary tools and training to deliver omnichannel services effectively.
  • Measuring Outcomes and Feedback Loop - Metrics established to measure the success of omnichannel strategies and feedback mechanisms for continual service improvements.  
  • Scalability and Flexibility - Systems designed to be scalable and flexible, able to adjust based on demand and integrate new solutions as needed.
  • Security and Compliance - Robust security measures to protect patient data across all services, and compliance with healthcare laws and regulations.

Examples of Omnichannel Customer Experience in Healthcare

Many healthcare providers are starting to see the benefit of an omnichannel approach, providing patients with a seamless and integrated patient experience, regardless of the type of interaction. Here are four notable examples of how an omnichannel approach improves the overall customer experience in healthcare.

1. Mount Sinai's Remote Patient Monitoring

Mount Sinai in New York employs an Omnichannel strategy through their remote patient monitoring program. Patients discharged are given tablets with pre-set apps installed, enabling healthcare providers to constantly monitor patients and provide immediate help if needed. Through different channels such as video, voice, and text communication, patients receive personalized care from home, improving the overall patient experience.

2. UnitedHealth Group’s Virtual Visits

UnitedHealth Group, one of the largest health insurers in the U.S., is leveraging omnichannel technologies to offer virtual visits. Virtual visits give patients access to a doctor online 24/7. Consumers can connect with a doctor through a mobile device or computer in a simple, flexible way, improving access to immediate healthcare.

3. Mayo Clinic's Seamless Online Platforms  

The Mayo Clinic has created a seamless online experience across multiple devices and platforms. On their patient portal, patients can book appointments, contact their doctors, access their medical records, and more. This strategy has given patients the ability to access healthcare on their own terms, improving the overall patient experience and health outcomes.

4. Geisinger Health System's Proactive Health Outreach

Geisinger Health System is using omnichannel strategies to proactively reach out to patients. For instance, they use predictive analytics to identify patients who are at risk of certain health issues, and engage with them using multiple channels, from personalized messages on digital platforms to phone calls. This omnichannel care management strategy has not only improved the patient experience but also improved population health management.

These case studies illustrate the diverse ways in which an omnichannel approach in healthcare can enhance the patient experience. They demonstrate that having a coherent strategy across multiple channels offers flexibility, accessibility, and highly personalized care for each patient.

Why is Omnichannel Important

Omnichannel customer engagement is essential for elevating patient care experience and service delivery within the healthcare industry. This approach integrates various channels into a single patient care journey, enabling healthcare providers to move beyond traditional models in favor of care that is more accessible, convenient, and tailored to individual needs.

Centering on patient priorities, omnichannel healthcare delivers a comprehensive care experience that proactively addresses patient needs, extends the reach of healthcare services beyond traditional clinical settings, and rapidly adapts to feedback and changes in patient conditions. Such adaptability is important to effectively meet the complexities of modern patient demands.

Healthcare organizations adopting omnichannel strategies stand not only to satisfy current patient needs but are also strategically investing in a future that prioritizes enhanced patient experiences and higher standards of care.

Take the first step on the omnichannel journey. Partner with Velaro to manage, analyze, and leverage your customer data. See it in action with a personalized demo.

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