Since the height of the pandemic, change has rocked the US healthcare system and its stakeholders. From nursing shortages to dwindling medical supplies, spikes in hospital bankruptcies and clinic closures — along with the demand for retail healthcare — the traditional in-clinic healthcare model is undergoing a significant facelift.
Today’s patients want medical services and advice when needed — not three weeks down the road at the first available appointment. Recent research on retail healthcare trends shows a growing number of retail health clinics are stepping up to meet patients’ demand for convenient visits, affordable care and more, especially in rural and vulnerable patient populations.
But as the demand for retail healthcare continues to rise, patients expect more convenience and accessibility.
And they’re willing to shop near and far to find it.
To create a more seamless patient experience, retail health clinics must leverage innovative technologies, such as digital patient engagement platforms, to equip patient-consumers with what they need to make informed decisions about their health and wellness for the long haul.
A rise in retail healthcare
When the COVID pandemic hit and lockdowns were in full force, hospital visits and ER intakes were restricted, except for critical cases. Although retail healthcare clinics have existed since the beginning of 2000, they scaled significantly during the height of the pandemic, especially in rural patient populations.
And they’re still going strong. Researchers anticipate the US retail healthcare market will reach a $4.22 billion valuation by 2029.
Patients use retail healthcare clinics, telehealth and mobile clinics to treat acute conditions and tend to preventative care needs. The convenience of walk-in availability or an appointment within 24 hours, combined with transparent fee structures and low costs is only fueling the demand for additional retail healthcare options.
Keep patient healthcare accessible
Traditional brick-and-mortar medical facilities and retail health clinics alike must revisit their patient engagement strategies to improve the overall patient-consumer experience in this evolving climate. Embracing innovative technologies can make patient healthcare more accessible and convenient and bring a positive patient experience within reach.
QR code technology can put important medical information in patients’ hands anywhere they go. According to a recent article from the British Medical Journal (BMJ), convenient access to personal medical records is a cornerstone in empowering patients to take a proactive role in their healthcare.
You can use QR technology to create a seamless retail healthcare experience by:
- Allowing digital check-in capabilities.
- Outfitting your retail healthcare clinic’s screens with targeted infographics and videos that answer patient FAQs.
- Offering access to an around-the-clock nurse chat
- Providing medical records, care plans, prescription reminders and vaccine updates can be accessed from anywhere.
- Streamlining the patient-consumer experience by making educational materials and other resources available (and shareable).
- Providing language translations for forms and other content.
- Soliciting post-visit feedback to better inform, target and optimize your patient engagement strategies.
Make patient experiences convenient
The patient-consumer experience begins the second a patient steps on your premises and can continue long after they leave. Take advantage of their time with your facility to make their experience as positive and convenient as possible right from the get-go.
Recruit your clinic’s existing TV screens and monitors as partners in their patient experience. The best patient engagement platform can give patients the personalized touch they want.
For instance, make check-in easy. You can free up your staff from check-in obligations (and long lines) by deploying QR-code technology to encourage digital sign-in upon arrival. Also, your patients are likely busy and need to return to X number of tasks, so use your screens to display your current wait times. This way, they’ll know where they stand in real time.
Creating a seamless retail healthcare experience involves trial and error. To know what’s working and what isn’t, solicit patient-customer feedback. They’ll tell you what they want (and don’t want).
You could place a QR code on a digital screen at the check-out desk or on a fixed panel just before the exit to encourage their input. Incentives are always welcome, too. Take a quid-pro-quo approach by offering an exclusive discount on their next visit or a free service in exchange for their feedback. Not only will you garner invaluable feedback, but you’ll also fortify patient-consumer loyalty in the process. Repeat visits and, by default, increased patient engagement can help create improved health outcomes.
The right digital engagement solution can transform retail healthcare experiences
When a patient is in the driver’s seat on the road to better health and wellness — as The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports — they’re more likely to experience positive health outcomes.
Partnering with the right digital patient engagement solution can engage and empower patients by offering convenient accessibility, patient-education opportunities, collaborative communication channels and so much more. To better retain patients this way, retail healthcare providers must establish and continuously build trust to maintain those care relationships.
Build trust and retain patients
While most patients now demonstrate they trust using retail healthcare facilities (compared to “traditional” medical providers), research shows this hasn’t always been the case.
Retail healthcare facilities can leverage a digital patient engagement solution to build trust organically via education, transparency and more. When patients have access to the personalized educational materials and resources they need, they’re more likely to gain clarity about their health, so they can ultimately engage with and assume an active role in their healthcare journey.
Retail healthcare facilities can build trust and boost patient retention by:
- Offering personalized educational materials to include relevant and accessible videos and tutorials to increase awareness and understanding.
- Highlighting healthy lifestyle tips, including meditation exercises, recipes, physical fitness strategies, holistic/alternative medicine recommendations and more.
- Raising awareness of the latest government guidelines for vaccine protocols or international travel vaccination requirements.
- Introducing patients to digital patient education communities to encourage awareness and internal patient support systems.
Promote other services and payment plans
Patients want access to the latest and most effective service and treatment options available. And the closer, the better. Is your clinic offering a new Ayurvedic procedure? Perhaps a holistic fertility treatment? An experience-now-pay-later payment plan option? Or are you hoping to launch a new private parenting support group? You’ll want to promote those services and plans with visible and accessible digital signage.
UPshow allows you to better engage patients by spotlighting new and existing service and treatment options or community partnerships your patients will want to know about. Their engagement will drive revenue growth for your retail healthcare facility, affording you additional resources to maximize their engagement over time.
UPshow makes it easy to transform the retail healthcare space
Retail healthcare trends show that patient-consumers want convenient access to affordable healthcare outlets. After all, they are the lead decision-maker in their health and wellness journey. But what is a leader without a collaborative support system behind them?UPshow’s digital patient engagement platform can create a seamless retail healthcare experience that patients will trust every step of the way. Sign-up for our risk-free demo and discover how UPshow’s innovative patient engagement solution is on the frontline of transforming the retail healthcare space the way patients want.