Value added services are not something physicians, dentists or medical clinics typically consider; but the retailization of health care spurred by the Affordable Care Act is changing the nature of America’s healthcare marketplace, injecting it with a hefty dose of consumerism. As noted in our previous post, as consumers take a greater role in choosing and paying for their medical care; they will be looking for healthcare providers that offer the greatest value for their healthcare dollar.
As consumers change their approach to purchasing medical services, value added services are expected to become an increasing factor in medical practice brand building as doctors and dentists look for new ways to attract patients, maintain patient loyalty and differentiate themselves from other medical practices.
Value added services, like those noted below, can play an important role in developing the strong emotional bonds between doctor and patient that most patients seek.
Using a live operator telephone answering service ensures that when patients call they will always talk to a real live person, not a machine. Particularly when people are ill or upset, they feel reassured that they will receive the help they need when their call is answered by a person capable of acting and making decisions.
Small things like using smartphones with secure messaging instead of paper scripts to order prescriptions can have a surprising impact on patients. They appreciate the convenience of being able to pick up their prescriptions without waiting at the pharmacy.
Using tablets and smartphones to provide patients with healthcare information allows fast delivery of test results and keeps healthcare instructions readily accessible.