Healthcare and Customer Experience

When we talk about Customer Experience or CX, many of us immediately think of our bank or our telco, or perhaps the restaurant or cafe we regularly go to. Many articles have been written up about retail, telecommunications and financial services industry but rarely do we talk about customer experience and customer journey in the healthcare industry. In fact, the healthcare industry as a whole typically lags behind the rest of the other industries in CX. I think most will agree that visiting a hospital or obtaining medical services is will probably fill you with some amount of apprehension!

CX is usually measured at key touch-points. During this COVID-19 pandemic, I had the unfortunate need to go for some diagnostic procedure that requires me to be a day patient at a hospital. So let us list down the various patient touch-points. For now, I’ll skip the online registration and other inbound methods as I was referred in by a specialist.

What are the customer touch points, especially when you are a first time patient to the hospital?

The first two are typically the Registration and the Reception. Adequate signage can usually ease customer experience with the reception as patients can proceed quickly to their respective registration counters – especially for specialist treatments. The registration process needs to be quick, painless, and seamless. You don’t want to be registering over and over again at various departments.

Secondly, the specific clinic or ward staff and the payments or cashier is the immediate touch point. In these areas, I would say that efficient systems, empowered staff, and well-designed processes make it very easy for a patient. In my experience, as a patient, you have a lot of things to worry about and obviously, if you need to deal with complicated forms and procedures, the anxiety level will rise. Medical treatment is not cheap and fraud cases aside, genuine patients requiring insurance claims need to be efficient.

Suffice to report, my experience in this area at Subang Jaya Medical Center or SJMC was extremely positive. Registration hardly took 10 minutes including the insurance process. I was surprised to see the level of integration and by the time I had changed into the hospital gown, I already received status of my Insurance.

Medical procedures aside, the check-out and follow-up stages are also key. As the systems appear to be integrated, I had nothing much further to deal with the payments counter and could generally proceed to collect my medication and leave. Subsequent follow-up was also pretty seamless including two follow-up calls to send the final bill statements and other paperwork. Keeping the patient informed about the insurance status was also appreciated.

All in all, my experience was highly positive at the efficiency and the level of customer service at all touch points. Very impressive I would say. In the near future, I’ll find some time to draw up a customer journey map for a typical healthcare provider. Stay tuned!