In today's evolving healthcare landscape, patients are spending more time searching for health information on websites, apps, maps, and intelligent services. And we're witnessing a major platform shift — the rise of AI services like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. For many years, your health system's branded website was the centerpiece of a patient's digital experience. But now when your patients search for health information, they don't see web results. Instead, they get maps, voice search answers, chats, and Knowledge Cards back — many of which you can't fully control.
What would it look like to leverage these new AI services and devices? Could we envision a seamless, technologically advanced, end-to-end and patient experience sensitive to HIPAA and other patient information considerations?
Creating the ideal patient experience
This seamless patient experience would mimic the Amazon effect, where you can easily access what you want, when you want it — and have ease of research, booking, and overall experience.
Let's imagine an ideal interaction, in the near future, with a Google Home:
Me: "Ok, Google. Help me book a follow up appointment with my dermatologist."
Google: "Sure. When would you like to book your appointment with Dr. Smith?"
Me: "On the next available Tuesday afternoon after 2 PM"
**Google: "**Great, I see you are available on Tuesday, March 4 at 3 PM. Shall I check Dr. Smith's calendar?"
Me: "Yes. Please check the calendar. And if Dr. Smith is free, add me to Dr. Smith's schedule."
Google: "You are confirmed for an appointment with Dr. Smith on Tuesday, March 4 at 3 PM. I have added your appointment to your calendar. When would you like a reminder? One week in advance or three days in advance?"
Me: "Three days in advance."
Google: "Great. I have set a reminder for you on March 1."
What happens when I get a reminder on March 1? Google tells me via voice, but also sends a reminder to my phone and to my email.
What about on March 4? Google reminds me how long it will take me to travel to Dr. Smith's office. Maybe it sends directions to my phone or to my Android Auto. It sets an auto-reminder to notify me when it is time to leave for my appointment, so that I'm not late.
And then what happens when I arrive at the health system and I have to find out where Dr. Smith's office is? My device knows when I have arrived at the hospital, and it automatically starts navigating me to the right floor and the right office number (7th Floor, suite 7A).
What would happen following the visit? Since my phone would automatically know that I had an appointment, and that I was physically at the appointment, it would ping me 15 to 30 minutes later to ask me how the visit went — and if I want to write a review about my experience.
What would this mean for the future of patient experience?
There would likely be fewer difficulties when scheduling an appointment. The machine would take care of comparing patient and doctor schedules.
And fewer missed appointments. AI and conversational services would set reminders to ensure that patients show up to appointments.
Increased access to doctors and appointments.
Not only would patients be able to schedule appointments easily, but by using their smart devices, they would be able to find the appointment location (both the facility location and the provider's office inside that facility) with ease.
The customer experience would be simple and seamless, decreasing potential sources of stress and frustration.
Improved patient acquisition and loyalty.
Happy patients would be more likely to leave positive reviews online, which would encourage other searching patients to choose providers in the same system. Could this even reduce leakage in healthcare?
We could go on and on — but this is what an end-to-end, seamless, and technologically advanced experience could look like in the near future.
To prepare your brand for the future of AI, voice search, and intelligent services, read our blog post, 5 Ways To Get Your Health System Ready For Voice Search.