In today’s market you must have a Web presence to compete.
Hospitals are no longer immune to changes brought about by the intenet and web based transactions. Patton-Fuller must look internally to see what services could be offered through a Web Portal to extend as much information to their patients as possible. Some information that could be delivered to patients electronically are newsletters, viewing of peoples public information that are currently in the hospital, such as patients’ room numbers, as well as the ability to purchase hospital uniforms online.Some online services that are available at other hospitals include: the ability to pay bills online, research available positions and fill out applications, and transmit data to doctors from monitoring devices from the comfort of your own home. These services may be used at Patton-Fuller to make things more convenient for patients who owe bills and have mobility limitations, make applying for a job quicker and easier, and allow doctors to receive vital information without requiring a patient to drive all the way to the hospital. Improving efficiency and scheduling can cut the time down that patients have to sit in waiting rooms.The hospital can provide online patient calendars coupled with text or email alerts for better handling of clients time to avoid having patients forced to sit for extended times in waiting rooms. These alerts could also inform patients if earlier time slots are available for consultations and give the patient the opportunity to select the new time-slot or keep their old appointment time.
Alerts can allow the hospital to manage its available time-slots more efficiently as well as see the maximum amount of patient at any given day.Better management of hospital time will also reduce the amount of foot-traffic the hospital experiences on a day-to day basis which would allow the shorting of the waiting room office space foot-print while freeing up that space for additional medical services. The Hospital can also provide information on their website of all doctors residing at the facility. The information provided to the patients can be short bios about the doctor, the doctor’s specialty, and office contact information. This can help put a face to a name for the patient.The patient can choose a doctor from their existing staff and medical providers. There are plenty of sites that allow user to rate doctors, but the hospital website will be designed purely for a customer service purposes.
It will not allow rating. The customers will be given a space to correspond with the doctor through chat or e-mail, but no space will be provided for a comment’s or reactions. The Web Portal could also be expanded to provide outside vendor services such as, Just in Time pharmaceutical replenishment and inventory updates.Just in Time pharmaceutical replenishment will allow the hospital to automatically replenish stock and optimize inventory. The hospital will have to grant access to its database to companies similar to Just in Time, but the rewards for the hospital will be phenomenal. The hospital can cross references the prescription company’s database to ensure that no other medication the patient is taking will have complications for the patients or adverse effects. The system could also recommend alternatives to the prescribe medications to even further lower patient discomfort.These processes will be automated, meaning they are automatically system generated and will result in greater efficiency of handling the pharmacy’s stock as well as patient care.
Other online tool that could be incorporated are sites such as Facebook and twitter. Each of these Social Networking tools must be utilized in different capacities. Facebook should be used to promote the hospital and introduce the patients to new services or tools the hospital will be rolling out. The hospitals main Twitter page should be should be used for short burst communications to clients.
An example of how a hospital could use Twitter is announcing the promotion of a Doctor to a prestigious board or the hospital collectively receiving an award or recognition. Twitter’s lower character count means information must be concise and focused to be affective. Each social networking site linked to the hospital not only needs to be monitored but access must be limited to a few. Control of the hospital social networking presence must be given to marketing to ensure the correct message and face is presented to the public.Controlling these tools are important for the hospitals public and press relations. Employees must be trained to understand that they can’t treat the hospital social sites the way they treat their own social profile.
Facebook, and Twitter as well as other social sites are informal by nature. They are a place for user to share personal information with their circle of associates, while the hospitals site will try to duplicate that informal feel but the concepts and messages must always be frame as if in a business environment.This might come off as disingenuous to the public but that fine line must be threaded if these tools are to be effective for the hospital.
Conclusion In conclusion, Patton-Fuller must understand that they are conducting business in a changing landscape. The customer is pushing closer and closer to the organization. Customers want more insight into hospitals. Hospitals were once large institutions that were above approach, but over the past few years the medical industry has taken numerous shots to its reputation on how their business is conductive as well as cost of care.Cost of care and medical services rendered have found their way to the national platform with the two major political parties lining up on either side of the issue. Now is the time that hospitals take steps to include the public as much as possible in process of health care. Giving health care consumers a peek behind the current process and stream-lining cost by utilizing all available efficiencies will go a long way in creating customer goodwill for the hospital. References Apollo Group, Inc.
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