During this epidemic, many businesses have encountered stumbling blocks due to more difficult living conditions. However, hospitals are a special case. While the number of their foreign patients declined, their demand has increased. This is because hospitals are a necessary service in checking and treating sickness. This particularly holds true for private hospitals where data from Krungsri Research indicated a growth of 10-13% between 2019-2021. This is due to key factors such as structural changes in Thailand towards an aging society, growth in public interest for healthy lifestyles, and of course, COVID-19, which has been a catalyst accelerating growth of hospital businesses.
Under the policy of the Ministry of Public Health to push Thailand towards becoming an international health center (or Medical Hub) by 2026, hospitals have to increase their services to offer their patients a better experience to meet their continuously growing needs into the future. Currently, there is an increasing number of online patients. This has changed the way hospitals communicate with their patients. It is a prime example of a new modern hospital business model that can be adopted by a hospital of any size.
With more and more online patients, conventional human management may no longer be sufficient. Using technology to aid in this regard is the most suitable choice. In particular, using LINE, a service that nearly everyone has installed, makes it easier to communicate. The LINE Ecosystem, in addition to its many tools, also makes connecting with the patients efficient without impacting their modern way of life.
The main thing that will make hospitals grow even more is to establish trust with their patients. The patients in turn will choose to come to that specific hospital that has earned their trust. In addition to having excellent personnel and state of the art equipment, patient experience is a key factor in whether or not they will set foot in a particular hospital again. Of course, this patient experience starts before they even come into the hospital. It starts with the online communication channel.
Creating a good customer experience begins with proper communication. Patients are classified into 2 groups: new patients and returning patients.
For new patients, it is important to establish a good first impression. This is a fundamental step in inviting them to use the service. Patients should feel as though they are an important person because they have been properly and professionally taken care of. This means that the hospital’s LINE OA is an essential part of enhancing the patient experience. When people need information or consultation about a particular disease or health concern, approaching real people like doctors is the best choice. Hospitals can use LINE OA as a home page and communication channel between their doctors and the patients for initial consultation. This is designed to facilitate patients who only have an allotted time to do daily activities.
For users who are looking for hospitals, creating awareness through LINE can serve to build brand identity and grab their attention and may be the deciding factor in their choice. In particular, if that first engagement is filled with personalized, high quality content, this will reflect highly on the hospital who created that content as being a reliable source of knowledge. In this regard, hospitals are able to advertise through LINE Today with Advertorials. These are articles with topics on diseases or health care that cater to specific inquiries. Hospitals may even buy ads through the Line Ads Platform (LAP) to ensure their brand appears in various areas of LINE. Hospitals can also choose where these ads appear - from chats, to Timeline, or even on LINE TV. Hospitals can also sell their specific packages through MyShop with attractive offers and undeniable prices to pull in more patients.
and their chosen hospital. This is done using LINE’s Tools to reach them. Communication should be as seamless as possible. Building a hospital’s LINE OA towards becoming a full-service customer relationship management (CRM) to address all the patients’ needs is key. This begins with appointment making through a hospital specific LINE OA which allows patients to book entirely online without the need for a phone call. Patients can simply enter their necessary information. If they need to get in contact with a human being over the phone to ask more questions, that’s easy to do too. During rehabilitation, hospitals can use LINE OA to monitor their patient’s recovery results after surgery or treatment as well as offer counseling. Being on-hand during the recovery process is another way of building engagement between a hospital and their patient. This makes the patient feel comfortable and will make them more likely to use that hospital’s service again in the future.
Once the patient is on the hospital premises, they have various Tools that can improve their On-Ground experience. The LINE Beacon will send them a Notification via LINE directly as soon as they arrive. It will also remind them to receive any medication they may require as well as offer a channel for easy online bill payment through their smartphone. This frees up the patient from having to sit and wait in a designated area. This is particularly useful in a situation where the waiting area is full as the patient can simply go to a coffee shop or restaurant instead. As for bill payment, often the last step in a hospital visit, contactless payment is a far superior option for the patient especially during the epidemic as it reduces their chances of catching the virus. The patient will no longer need to come into close proximity with staff or use a communal pen for signing forms. In this way, this LINE system creates a positive impression from the moment the patient steps into the hospital to the moment they leave.
All these models demonstrate a hospital’s commitment to providing care and service to their patients. Although hospitals and clinics come in all different sizes and cater to a wide range of clientele, providing the best experience will undoubtedly slingshot them to the Top of Mind of their patients. By forging a long-term relationship with your patients, you are ensuring your hospital’s prolonged success.