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What Is Customer Experience in Healthcare – Solutions to Improve Patient Satisfaction

Imagine walking into a healthcare facility, feeling anxious and uncertain, only to be greeted by a warm and welcoming staff. The check-in process is smooth and efficient, and your concerns are addressed with compassion and understanding.

The physician sees you in a timely manner, and any questions or concerns you have are thoroughly answered. After your visit, you receive follow-up calls and emails to ensure your recovery is going well.

This is the ultimate customer experience in healthcare – one where patients feel valued heard, and taken care of.

In today’s healthcare industry, providing excellent customer service is crucial for building trust and loyalty among patients. The customer experience, or the overall perception of a patient’s interaction with a healthcare organization, can have a significant impact on patient satisfaction and, ultimately, the success of the healthcare organization.

In this article, we discuss the importance of providing such an experience and how healthcare organizations can strive to achieve it to provide the best possible for patients.

Overview of the current state of customer experience in healthcare

patient experience in the healthcare industry

The current state of customer experience in the healthcare industry is a topic of increasing importance. Despite its significance, the industry is not performing well in this regard. A staggering 95% of customers share negative experiences they have had with healthcare organizations. It is not uncommon for an average American to share their poor customer experience with healthcare facilities with at least 15 other people.

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of customer experience in healthcare. In fact, 80% of consumers believe that the experience a company provides is just as important as its products and services.

PWC’s survey “Experience is everything” found that positive experiences are most influential and significant in the healthcare industry (78%) as compared to other industries such as banking (75%), restaurants (74%), and hotels (74%).

According to a study by Accenture, 64% of consumers would switch providers for a better overall experience. Additionally, patients with a positive experience are more likely to recommend a healthcare organization to friends and family and return for future treatments.

In recent times, healthcare organizations are recognizing the importance of customer experience and are trying to improve in this area. Many recognize the five categories that customer experience falls under convenience, quality, support, personalization, and communication.

Healthcare workers are also engaged in making the excellent customer experience their top priority. 49% of healthcare provider executives now recognize customer experience as a top strategic priority.

Not to mention, 81% of companies involved in healthcare are now investing in technology to improve customer experience and, by extension, healthcare success.

How digital solutions are changing the customer experience in the healthcare industry

Digital solutions are revolutionizing the way healthcare is delivered, and as a result, they are also changing the customer experience for patients. These solutions range from platforms that allow patients to connect with doctors remotely to electronic health record systems that make it easier for healthcare providers to access patient information.

By providing patients with more convenient and efficient care, digital solutions are improving the overall customer experience in the healthcare industry. Here are some examples highlighting how digital solutions are transforming the healthcare industry and improving the customer experience.

1- Teladoc: Teladoc is a telemedicine platform that allows patients to connect with doctors remotely through video or phone consultations. This digital solution improves the patient experience by making it more convenient for patients to receive medical care without the need to travel to a doctor’s office physically.

2- Zocdoc: Zocdoc is an online platform that allows patients to book appointments with healthcare providers and view ratings and reviews from other patients. This digital solution improves the patient experience by making it more convenient for patients to schedule appointments and by providing more transparency about the quality of care provided by different healthcare providers.

3- Epic EHR: Epic EHR is an electronic health record system that allows healthcare providers to access patient information quickly and easily. This digital solution improves the patient experience by reducing wait times and increasing the efficiency of care.

4- Medtronic: Medtronic provides digital health solutions; their mySentry system is a remote monitoring system for patients with epilepsy that allows healthcare providers to monitor seizures remotely. This digital solution improves the patient experience by allowing patients to receive care in the comfort of their own homes and by providing healthcare providers with real-time data to improve patient outcomes.

5- Ada Health: Ada Health is an AI-powered virtual health assistant that allows users to input symptoms and receive personalized health recommendations. This digital solution improves the patient experience by providing personalized care and making it more convenient for patients to access healthcare information.

Understanding the Patient Customer Journey


The Patient Customer Journey is a crucial aspect of providing excellent customer service in the healthcare industry. This journey refers to the series of interactions and experiences that a patient goes through when seeking medical care.

The patient-customer journey is an intricate process that doesn’t always unfold smoothly. While a smooth journey can make patients feel secure and satisfied with the healthcare organization, a poor experience can leave them feeling violated or anxious.

As such, this makes identifying and addressing pain points in the customer journey extremely important. It helps healthcare organizations improve the overall customer experience and create a more positive and efficient patient healthcare experience.

The Different Stages of Healthcare Customer Journey

The healthcare customer journey refers to the various stages a patient goes through when interacting with a healthcare organization. This can include everything from researching treatment options, scheduling appointments, receiving care, and following up with their healthcare provider.

Different stages of the customer journey can include the following.

1- Research: The customer becomes aware of a need or problem and begins researching possible healthcare providers and services.

2- Scheduling: The customer schedules an appointment with a healthcare provider.

3- Preparation: The customer prepares for the appointment, such as by filling out paperwork or gathering medical records.

4- Consultation: The customer receives a consultation with the healthcare provider.

5- Treatment: The customer receives treatment or care from the healthcare provider.

6- Follow-up: The customer follows up with the healthcare provider for additional treatment or care.

7- Feedback: The customer provides feedback or reviews about their experience.

It’s important to note that the customer journey is not always a linear process. Customers may go back and forth between stages or even skip stages entirely.

Additionally, different customers may experience different pain points in their journey, which can alter their healthcare journey differently.

Common Pain Points in the Healthcare Customer Journey


Analyzing common pain points in the healthcare customer journey is crucial for identifying areas of improvement and addressing them. By understanding where patients may experience difficulties or frustrations, healthcare organizations can take steps to enhance the patient experience.

Common pain points in the healthcare customer journey can include:

1- Long wait times: Patients may experience long wait times for appointments, in waiting rooms, or in the process of receiving care. This can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction.

2- Lack of communication: Patients may feel that they are not kept informed about their care or that their concerns are not being heard. This can lead to feelings of disconnection and mistrust.

3- Difficulty navigating the healthcare system: Patients may struggle to understand the various steps and processes involved in receiving care. This can lead to confusion and anxiety.

4- Inadequate follow-up: Patients may not receive the necessary follow-up care or communication after a procedure or treatment, leading to uncertainty and dissatisfaction.

5- Inconvenience: Patients may find it difficult to schedule appointments, access medical records, or get answers to their questions due to a lack of digital solutions.

6- Lack of personalization: Patients may feel like they are not being treated as individuals with unique needs and preferences.

7- Unpleasant physical environment: Patients may find the healthcare facility dirty, uncomfortable, or outdated.

By understanding the stages of the healthcare customer journey and identifying common hurdles or pain points, healthcare organizations can devise and implement effective solutions to improve the customer experience.

This involves, for instance, mapping out the customer journey and identifying points where customers may have difficulty or frustration and then implementing solutions to address these issues.

This can include things like improving the scheduling process, providing more clear and detailed information about treatment plans, or making the follow-up process more convenient. Customer Journey Mapping to Identify and Address Pain Points

Customer journey mapping is a process that involves identifying and analyzing the various stages of a customer’s experience with a healthcare organization, from initial contact to post-treatment follow-up.

By understanding the customer’s perspective and emotions at each stage, healthcare organizations can identify common pain points that may be causing frustration or dissatisfaction.

To use customer journey mapping, healthcare organizations can start by conducting research to gather information about the customer’s experience. This can include surveying patients, conducting interviews, or analyzing data from customer service interactions.

Once this information is collected, the organization can create a visual representation of the customer journey, highlighting the different stages and identifying key touchpoints where pain points occur.

Next, healthcare organizations can use this information to develop solutions to address the identified pain points. This can include changes to processes and procedures, additional training for staff, or the implementation of new technologies in the healthcare industry.

It’s also important to test and monitor these solutions to ensure they are effectively addressing the pain points and improving the customer experience.

By using customer journey mapping to identify and address pain points, healthcare organizations can not only improve the customer experience but also increase patient satisfaction, loyalty, and, ultimately, their bottom line.

Implementing Digital Solutions for Healthcare


Digital solutions are revolutionizing the healthcare industry and are playing a significant role in improving the customer experience. These solutions include the use of electronic health records, online portals for scheduling appointments and accessing medical records, telemedicine, and mobile health apps.

One major benefit of digital solutions is that they provide patients with greater convenience and accessibility. For example, online portals allow patients to schedule appointments and access their medical records at any time, from anywhere. Telemedicine allows patients to consult with healthcare providers remotely, reducing the need for in-person visits. Mobile health apps give patients access to health information and tools that help them manage their health more effectively.

Basically, digital solutions are changing the healthcare industry and are providing patients with a more convenient, accessible, and personalized experience. They are also helping healthcare organizations to improve communication, coordination, and care. Here are some popular advances in digitizing the healthcare industry.

1- Virtual and Remote Queueing: Patients can check in and wait for their appointments remotely rather than in a physical waiting room. This can greatly reduce wait times and increase patient satisfaction.

2- Self-Check-In Kiosks: Patients can check in for their appointments independently rather than waiting in line to speak with a receptionist. This can speed up the check-in process and provide a more efficient and convenient experience for patients.

3- Digital signage: This can be used to improve the customer experience in healthcare. Digital signage can include displaying wait times and important information or even providing entertainment for patients while they wait.

4- Forecasting Module: A digital solution that helps healthcare organizations predict future demand for their services. This can include things like predicting the number of appointments, emergency room visits, and the number of people who will be admitted to the hospital. By forecasting demand, healthcare organizations can better plan for staffing and resource needs, which can help them improve the customer experience.

5- Appointment Scheduling: Digital solutions such as online scheduling portals or mobile apps can help improve appointment scheduling systems. These allow patients to schedule appointments at their convenience and reduce wait times on the phone or in person.

6- Patient Feedback Systems: Online surveys, for example, can also be used to gather patient feedback and improve the customer experience. This can help healthcare organizations identify areas where they need to improve and make changes to enhance the patient experience.

Leveraging Data and Analytics

Data and analytics are critical in improving customer experience in the healthcare industry. By collecting and analyzing data on patient interactions, healthcare organizations can gain valuable insights into patient needs, preferences, and pain points. This can help organizations identify areas where they need to improve and make data-driven decisions to enhance the customer experience.

Data and analytics can be used in various ways to improve customer experience in healthcare. For example, data on patient wait times can help healthcare organizations identify bottlenecks and optimize the flow of patients through the facility. Data on patient satisfaction can help organizations understand how well they meet patient needs and identify areas for improvement.

Moreover, data and analytics can also be used to track key performance indicators that are important to customer experiences, such as patient satisfaction, wait times, and patient engagement. This can give healthcare organizations a holistic view of how well they meet patient needs and help them identify areas for improvement.

Some common data sources in the healthcare industry include electronic medical records (EMRs), patient surveys, and claims data. EMRs contain a wealth of information about patients, including their medical history, treatment plans, and outcomes.

Patient surveys can provide insight into how patients feel about their care and their overall experience. Claims data can be used to track patient outcomes and measure the effectiveness of different treatments.

There are also a variety of analytics tools available to healthcare organizations. These include business intelligence (BI) tools, data visualization tools, and machine learning platforms.

BI tools can help healthcare organizations consolidate, analyze, and report on data from multiple sources. Data visualization tools allow organizations to display data in an easily understandable format, such as charts, graphs, and maps. Machine learning platforms can be used to analyze large and complex data sets to identify patterns and predict future trends.

Importance of Patient Personalization in Improving Customer Experience in the Healthcare Industry


Personalization is becoming increasingly important in the healthcare industry as it allows for a more tailored and personalized experience for patients. By using data and analytics, healthcare organizations can better understand their patient’s needs and preferences and use this information to improve the customer experience.

One of the main benefits of personalization is that it can help to improve communication and engagement between the healthcare provider and the patient. Personalization can also help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare delivery process by providing patients with more appropriate care.

Patient personalization is crucial in improving customer experience in the healthcare industry because it allows healthcare providers to dispense services that are unique to the needs and preferences of each individual patient.

By understanding a patient’s individual characteristics, healthcare providers can deliver more personalized and effective care. This can lead to better health outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, and improved overall customer experience.

Personalization can also help healthcare providers to more effectively communicate with patients, as they can use tailored messaging and communication channels that are most likely to resonate with the patient. Additionally, personalization helps healthcare providers to understand better the patient’s needs and preferences, which can lead to more effective care planning and better outcomes.

Common Customer Experience Issues in the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is a complex field, and it can be challenging to provide a positive customer experience for patients. However, by understanding common customer experience issues, healthcare organizations can work to address and improve these areas.

patient waiting

Some common customer experience issues in the healthcare industry can include:

1- Long wait times – Patients often experience long wait times in waiting rooms and for appointments. This can be frustrating and lead to negative perceptions of the healthcare organization.

2- Inefficient scheduling – Scheduling appointments can be a cumbersome process for patients and healthcare organizations alike. Especially if scheduling is done manually, it can lead to frustration for patients, as well as wasted time and resources for the healthcare organization.

3- Lack of communication – Patients may feel that they are not being kept informed about their care or treatment plans leading to their confusion, anxiety, and mistrust.

4- Inconvenient follow-up – Patients may find it difficult to schedule follow-up appointments or communicate with their healthcare providers after their initial visit. This can be due to long waiting hours on phone calls or even in-person, particularly if patients have busy schedules or transportation issues.

5- Difficulty navigating the healthcare system – Patients may find it difficult to navigate the healthcare system and understand their options for care. This can be a major source of confusion and frustration.

6- Lack of transparency: Patients may feel that they are not receiving transparent and clear information about costs, insurance coverage, and other financial aspects of healthcare.

7- Inadequate patient education: Patients may not receive adequate education about their condition, treatment options, and follow-up care, which can lead to poor understanding and poor outcomes.

8- Limited access to patient data: Patients may have limited access to their own medical data, which can make it difficult for them to understand their health status, track their progress, and make informed decisions about their care.


In conclusion, improving customer experience in the healthcare industry is crucial for both patients and healthcare providers. By understanding the stages of the healthcare customer journey and identifying common pain points, healthcare organizations can use customer journey mapping to improve the customer experience.

This includes implementing digital solutions such as virtual and remote queueing, self-check-in kiosks, digital signage, forecasting module, appointment scheduling, and patient feedback systems. Additionally, by leveraging data and analytics, healthcare organizations can personalize the patient experience and improve communication and transparency.

Some key strategies for improving customer experience include focusing on patient-centered care, utilizing technology to enhance communication and convenience, and gathering and acting on patient feedback.

The potential benefits of improving customer experience in healthcare include increased patient satisfaction, improved health outcomes, and increased revenue for healthcare providers. Ultimately, by prioritizing customer experience, healthcare organizations can create a more positive and effective healthcare experience for all.