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The role of service desk support in patient engagement and consumer experience

By September 12, 2021September 29th, 2021No Comments

Patient Engagement and the Healthcare Service Desk

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Thank you. Two words that can be rare for those working in consumer-facing roles, including Healthcare IT and patient technical service desk support.

With increasing consumerization of the evolving healthcare delivery market, patient expectations and behaviors are shifting to an experience that seeks to replicate the way they interact with other industries such as online retail and banking. These new expectations require healthcare providers focus on the patient experience from the first digital / telephone / in-person interaction to ensure patients are supported at every click, call and visit.

Many healthcare providers are not equipped to provide the omni-channel service desk support now required to meet increasing patient engagement demand.

PDS has partnerships with leading hospitals and health systems across the U.S. providing technical support services for their patients via our 24x7x365 Madison, WI-based service center. Each day the past 17 years, we have been helping thousands of patients utilize patient portal applications such as Epic MyChart.

A patient portal service desk support user recently sent an email of gratitude to the PDS team that was a refreshing reminder of the role we play for our healthcare provider clients and their patients.

The patient expressed the frustrations which are common when new technology is deployed by healthcare providers. “Ever since this (EHR) system was launched by my provider a year ago, I have had one problem after another that has caused me a great deal of stress, so I contacted support to deactivate my access to the patient portal”. When technology causes stress and frustration, it is imperative to understand the human aspect in addition to the technical attributes of the virtual patient experience. The patient continued, “I contacted support and the agent fixed my problem & walked me through the whole process until its completion. Because of his patience and knowledge, my faith was restored in the portal and the provider – Thank you.”  The seasoned PDS staff and mature methodology delivered a positive experience for this patient.  It is great they took the time to share their feedback.

Many healthcare providers are not equipped (qualified staff, process, tools, budget) to provide the omni-channel (telephone, email, chat) support required to meet increasing patient demand for virtual engagement and support. As this trend accelerates, support systems and processes will be increasingly important as patient-consumers use applications for:

  • increased appointment-setting = more engagement
  • viewing lab results
  • sharing feedback with friends and family members
  • increased technology adoption leading to the use of other patient-consumer technologies such as wearables, home health and telehealth

The patient Thank you message made me think about the many lives the PDS support staff impacts each day and role our services have in their healthcare experience. In this case, faith was restored in the portal, provider and overall process. You’re Welcome.