Improving Patient Experience with AI: Paving the Way for Customer-Centric Healthcare 

Healthcare organizations are increasingly adopting AI in patient experience, and here is why.

Being a patient is tough. 

Managing routine medical check-ups can be cumbersome, often requiring time off work and paying a copay. Some accidents or illnesses can bring patients to the emergency department or require an overnight stay. 

Sixty-eight percent of patients believe that healthcare providers must enhance their interactions with patients.

Healthcare executives understand that they must improve the patient experience for unexpected events. 

Rising healthcare consumer focus in the U.S. drives patient demand for more personalized care at reasonable costs. Consumers used to on-demand driver services and grocery delivery expect the same from healthcare providers.

Healthcare organizations are recognizing that artificial intelligence (AI) enhances patient healthcare experience:

Why Patient Experience Is Essential To Healthcare Success

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Improved patient experience enhances patient outcomes, with better health and fewer hospital visits. Patients achieve better health outcomes while health systems elevate their standard of patient care.

Healthcare providers recognize patient experience as the heartbeat of healthcare and prioritize patient experience for several reasons:

  • These health providers truly care. Most every practice leader, system CEO, doctor, nurse, technician, and IT executive got into healthcare because they want patients to be and stay healthy and happy. 
  • Their reimbursements and profitability depend on it. Medicare considers patient experience scores in determining how much providers get paid for providing care. 
  • It can slow the high turnover of doctors, nurses, and other staff. Caregivers are happier, more satisfied, and less likely to leave or burn out when they are confident they can give patients the best care and experience.
  • They can outperform healthcare competitors. Great patient experience builds a reputation and environment that makes your customers more attractive to patients, staff, and partners, helping them stay ahead of competing practices and hospitals. 

Healthcare organizations that prioritize patient choices and experience will stand out from the competition and thrive in delivering exceptional care.

Challenging Reality of Patient Experience in Today’s Healthcare Landscape

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As promising as those benefits sound, the actual patient experience underwhelms. Despite spending more on healthcare per capita than any other developed nation, the U.S. lags in  average life expectancy, and 60% of American adults suffer from a chronic illness.

And U.S. patients are burned out.

They wait months for appointments that only last a few minutes. They are frustrated with overpriced, substandard care and healthcare providers who treat them like electronic health record entries instead of humans. While other consumer-focused industries have made strides in meeting customer needs, hospitals have fallen far behind. Experts estimate that the health tech industry is about 10-20 years behind e-commerce and consumer technology in terms of user-friendliness, interface design, and updated algorithms.

The contrast became even more evident after the pandemic. Delivery services and online shopping skyrocketed, constantly pleasing consumers with improved visibility, transparency, and customer service. While in the healthcare industry, with increased stress, chaos, and dissatisfaction due to the pandemic, hospitals are struggling to keep up with their patients’ demands.

Using AI to Drive Improved Patient Experience and Outcomes

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As concerns about patient care delivery continue to grow, the use of AI in the clinical space has expanded, from Google’s AI aiding diagnostic screenings to IBM’s Watson AI informing clinical decision-making. 

To be clear, healthcare will always need skilled, well-trained professionals to ensure qualified care delivery. However, AI can help bridge certain gaps such as staffing shortages, manual workflow, and restricted communication. 

Let’s explore some ways that AI can benefit healthcare consumers and providers to enhance patient outcomes and satisfaction.

1. Provide Personalized Care

Leveraging artificial intelligence as the initial touchpoint for patient inquiries offers a convenient and customized patient experience without overburdening healthcare staff. Through AI-driven tools like text-based messaging, chatbots, and automation, care providers engage with patients through their preferred devices and schedules.

Numerous healthcare systems now employ AI chatbots for round-the-clock assistance with patients’ healthcare needs. Such AI-powered tools can be used for a variety of tasks, including:

  • Setting up medical appointments
  • Reminding patients of appointments
  • Answering insurance-related queries
  • Tracking specialty referrals

2. Improve Patient-Provider Interaction 

All of us have experienced hospital visits, both in-person and online, where we must re-enter our basic information. A concise patient summary, created by AI that stores patients’ medical records and history can provide doctors with all the necessary information from the start, saving time for both patients and providers. This allows doctors to concentrate on delivering high-quality care to ensure that patients are in good hands.

When embedded with natural language processing (NLP) algorithms, AI tools can now go beyond traditional data management. These tools empower computer systems to comprehend and interpret a patient’s language, facilitating communication between patients and clinicians. AI systems can collect patient data and analyze their electronic health records and other significant details to help doctors make informed decisions and enhance patient experience.

3. Reduce Staff Burnout 

Burnout and low morale have led to severe staffing shortages in the U.S. healthcare industry.

By implementing personalized, AI-driven communication, medical workers can focus on their primary role: providing physical care to patients. With machine learning algorithms, AI can even conduct efficient triage, simplifying the admissions process and ensuring patients receive suitable care as soon as possible.

As a result, doctors and nurses can focus on improving patient experience with fewer administrative tasks and disruptions.

4. Facilitate Remote Patient Monitoring

Aftercare requires more rigor for the growing number of patients with chronic conditions to automatically alert doctors if their conditions become critical. Doctors and healthcare providers are progressively adopting AI-driven remote patient monitoring systems in response.

AI-powered RPM can send live patient data from connected devices for blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, pacemaker data, and more. It enables patients to get treated regardless of their location or time of day and also helps doctors with real-time status information more efficiently to prioritize treatment delivery.

Learn more: The Impact of AI on Healthcare: A Deep Dive into Remote Patient Monitoring

5. Support Clinical Decisions for Better Patient Experience and Outcomes

Healthcare data exists in numerous formats across dozens of different, often disconnected systems, including EHRs, clinical data, administration, care planning, pharmacies, and claims and billing. AI is the super brain that can sift through these mountains of data, understand it, and use it to make the most accurate live recommendations to doctors and caregivers.

With AI, doctors have a hyper-intelligent assistant at their side at all times to help make fast, precise diagnoses and care plans based on billions of data points right at the point of care.

How Can Product Development Incorporate AI to Be More Patient Driven?

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While AI-driven tools can deliver valuable insights, someone still needs to interpret and apply them. AI always needs human intervention. 

Developers must combine a patient-centric and product-centric approach::

  • How will you show that the application is valuable and trustworthy for users?
  • How do you keep it up to date when dealing with fast-changing medical specialties such as oncology?
  • How will it integrate into existing workflows so that the information is as relevant and actionable as it is timely and does not deliver unintended outcomes or make the patient experience less satisfactory?
  • Can the intelligence be meted out to the user in a digestible way that delivers value?

AI must augment the clinician’s decision, not supplant it. 

Your Next Steps for AI Development Success

Integrating AI into healthcare technology and processes requires thoughtful effort—all more than justified by the significant benefits in patient experience. 

If you can help your software technology customers make complex things simpler, their path to improving patient experience becomes clear and inspiring.

Choose KMS Healthcare as your outsourcing partner for AI success

KMS Healthcare can fill your software engineering productivity gaps, help set solid strategies, get high-quality AI products to market faster, and help you confidently execute each step: 

  • A healthcare-experienced development team ready to move rapidly 
  • The top healthcare AI and machine learning engineers 
  • Guidance to ensure smart market strategies and successful delivery 

Don’t go it alone. Rely on KMS Healthcare as your partner to add tremendous value for your customers by improving their patient experience with AI. 

Contact KMS Healthcare

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