One of the major recent changes in telemedicine is that healthcare providers are actually being reimbursed for telemedicine services. Knowing this makes it a lot easier for providers to invest in the technology needed to offer effective, efficient telehealth options.
And, while behemoth tech companies like Amazon and Walmart are investing in this space — and will only continue growing their presence — you don’t need a giant tech team to compete. In fact, the technology side of things is actually something of a solved problem. Telehealth platforms like doxy.me and Amwell offer an incredibly low barrier of entry for providers moving into the telehealth space.
So don’t let tech concerns deter you from pursuing telehealth technology and offerings full force. While you may not be able to compete with Amazon or Walmart’s resources, you have accessible technology available to you. And what you ultimately do with and around that technology — meaning the user experience you craft to support it — will be your key differentiator.
How to Deliver an Outstanding Telehealth User Experience
Your patient portal is a huge touchpoint with your patients, and your telehealth UX needs to be well-represented here. Guide your patient along the journey, and help them to see the opportunity that telehealth presents. Create a user experience that makes a telehealth followup in the portal the default, and go from there. Knock down any personal bias or resistance to telehealth adoption by showing them how easy it can be. They don’t need to drive down to the clinic, park, sit in the waiting room, and see a doctor in person just to go over their lab results.
The user experience you build around your telehealth platform must be front and center in every single touchpoint between you and your patients. Outstanding UX needs to be the goal overall – from marketing you put out to consumers, everything displayed on your website and how it’s laid out, and the prefabricated responses used in your customer support processes and chat.
What steps are necessary in developing an exceptional telehealth UX?
Streamline the Telehealth Process with a Great User Experience
Implementing an effective telehealth UX means stripping away as many customer questions as possible. Before, during, and after the telehealth appointment, patients should know exactly where to go, what they need to enable to use the system, how to interact with the system, and what to do afterwards to follow up. Limit lines of communication to one or two methods, and keep language as clear and concise as possible. Accessing technical support needs to be foolproof in its simplicity.
Integrating telemedicine and remote monitoring into clinical workflows and various internal systems (EHR, CRM, scheduling and portals, etc.) is complex. Align on organizational goals for virtual care and telemedicine, such as what percentage of total visits they should constitute, as well as business impact expectations. This helps to prioritize the investment in telehealth services.
Leverage UX to Lower the Barrier of Entry to Telehealth Services
You need to understand your patient population and the barriers they face if you want to provide them with a UX that addresses their specific needs. There are a lot of reasons why patients might shy away from telehealth adoption, and addressing these concerns is the only way you’ll engage them. Where do they live? What devices do they use? What are their connectivity options?
Understanding your user population allows you to:
- Avoid overwhelming users with data. Deliver an interface that presents patients with the information they need, when they need it. Don’t inundate them with information every time they use the interface.
- Empathize with your users. Communicate the benefits of telehealth in your UX, but allow for options and modifications to scenarios your users may not be comfortable with handling entirely online.
- Make it easy for users wherever possible. Your UX should guide users through the telehealth process with helpful onboarding steps, and should take into consideration coding requirements for accessibility, button size on mobile devices, and mobile-first needs for those in more rural areas.
Certain design patterns, such as progressive disclosure, can help new users adopt new technology, too. Helping users through a process by answering their questions and providing options to learn more or take action builds confidence and makes adoption more likely.
Apply Journey Mapping to Better Understand Customer Segments and What They Need to Embrace Telehealth
The bottom line is that you can’t create a great user experience if you don’t know who your users are and what their user journey looks like. The information journey mapping reveals, both the good and the bad, is invaluable when it comes to increasing adoption and retention in telehealth services.
This information can shed light on aspects of your user population like their technological maturity. It can tell you if you need to consider barriers such as access to care via smartphones or other mobile devices, and whether your telehealth services will be accessed using broadband internet connections or cellular data. You might uncover a need for bilingual support or translation services.
Taking a persona from each customer segment, and pinpointing what each persona wants, will identify areas of overlap between user populations. With this information, you can start making improvements to your telehealth UX that speak to those overlapping desires in order to bolster adoption and retention. Growth does not just happen. You need to nurture it.
Lower Telehealth Adoption Hesitancy by Giving Your Users the UX They Need
Everyone wants to save time without sacrificing quality. Because of this, you don’t need to sell consumers on the potential time-saving benefits of telehealth.
What you do need to convince them of is the fact that those benefits are easy and convenient enough to make them worthwhile. And you can’t do that just by telling them this is the case. You need to show them.
You do that through a great user experience.
If you’re looking for help in developing or improving a user experience that excites your target audience and grows your business, get in touch. We’re happy to discuss your needs and offer our expertise.