Posted on Sep 30, 2016
Recent and astute visitors to our website have noticed something different lately - a lot of our web pages have been radically designed or the content changed! Since we first launched the new CapeMedical.com in May of 2013, a lot has changed both at the company and in the healthcare world at large. New laws have come into play, new technologies have changed the way people access websites and how their healthcare is administered.
With these changes in mind, patient communication has become paramount importance in the healthcare world. Properly directing patients to accurate information about their care, clearly setting expectations (from a payment and functional standpoint) and making sure that all information is clearly understood is a key to ensure that patients succeed with their prescribed care. As health insurance gets more complicated and therapies evolve, more information than ever is accessible to patients, and not all of the information is accurate! During the setup process, our clinicians focus heavily on communicating all aspects of care to their patents and, over on the sales side, our professional relations team clearly communicates all aspects of our company processes to prenatal professional partners. It was high time our website caught up!
“When we first rebuilt CapeMedical.com in 2013, the primary goal was to project the image of the professional, technologically innovative company we had become.” notes Gary Sheehan, president and CEO. “As that became more well known, we started to discover that our website was a tremendous tool for communicating important information in plain english to our patients and professional partners. Over time, that became the focus of our website. It was time to streamline and reduce the number of clicks between a patient and their answers."
Faster Answers = Healthier Patients
Few things frustrate us as consumers more than long wait times and frustrating, confusing customer service. How many of us dread calling the cable company because we know it’s going to be a 20 minute wait time and one day realize our cable bill is $60 per month higher than it used to be? Imagine the effect if that were the attitude that patients took with their healthcare. Unfortunately, it sometimes is. When patients ask questions and are more involved in their healthcare, the become move invested in their therapy and ultimately, almost always end up healthier because of it. We're in support of anything we can do to make that possible!
If a patient has a question, we want to get them an answer! The internet, and more directly, our website, is a tremendous tool to reach patients with and affect real change in their therapy. What started as a series of informational blog posts quickly grew into the guiding philosophy for our website - plain english, easily accessible answers about frequently asked or frequently confused healthcare questions. The more answers a patient can find online, the faster they can understand and implement the answers. Operationally, having patients access frequently asked questions (and answers) online frees up key employees like our Customer Service and Compliance Support Team to focus on answering more complex and pressing questions, a much better use of their time helping our patients and healthcare partners.
By designing our new Frequently Asked Question section around data pulled from our website analytics and interviews with our frontline team members, we identified and pulled to the forefront answers to the questions we receive the most from our patients and our professional healthcare partners. By reducing the number of clicks to access these answers, we are making it easier for patients to access the answers they need the most and thus improving their overall care experience. For instance, we have added a page to our site listing all of the insurance that we accept, making it easier for patients and professioansl to see if we can accept and service their patients. With the constantly changing nature of health insurance, these pages are constantly evolving page as plans get added, dropped and modified. Small changes like this add up to a major improvement in patient experience!
Taking the Confusion out of Customer Service
Healthcare customer service is confusing. Just the other day we called over to a physicians office and were presented with 9 different options, and then had to make several selections after selecting our option just to check on a referral! It was frustrating for us, and we’re healthcare experts.
"A new mantra we're promoting within the company is 'Premium quality care, every step in the process.'" notes Mike Sheehan, Chief Operating Officer of Cape Medical Supply. "Our goal is to simplify the patient experience by setting clear, accurate expectations during every interaction...whether it be a phone call, email, fax or face to face appointment. We strive to meet expectations and leave patients and referrals feeling confident in their dealings with our organization."
When we went about redesigning certain areas of our website, customer service was a paramount concern. While many patients still just call the 800 number right of the bat, an increasing number are hitting our site and going straight to “contact us” to try and find the right number. On the operational side, we made great strides with our new ShorTel Connect system that allows customers to dial straight into the department they need, but our website was still a text heavy maze of directions. Something had to be done.
By redesigning our contact us page around easy to follow goals rather than categories, we were able to greatly reorganize the contact flow. Patients don’t think about healthcare (or our company) in the same way we do - they think “I need an answer to this question about my bill” not “I need to contact the billing recovery team.” By minimizing the steps a customer has to take to reach their desired answer, hopefully we will be able to make them more educated, smarter, and more involved with their care.
As we roll out new features over the next few weeks, check back for a guided tour of the new site!