The ability to offer convenience in the healthcare and fitness industries through modern software solutions is being tested like never before. COVID-19 has driven the need to limit unnecessary physical contact points with support staff and resources such as physical card readers. Key to achieving that objective is making integrated payments a central component of any clinic and class management solution.
This need for innovation mirrors expectations that have been placed on a broad range of service industries, influenced by heightened standards for safety and convenience that can directly impact client or patient confidence. In these cases, integrated payments and the platforms that adopt them serve to create customer and business experiences that drive growth.
We know that the words ‘customer’ and ‘selling’ are often a taboo subject in the healthcare and fitness sectors however these services themselves are businesses. There is now a need for clinics and studios to take note of such trends while also maintaining unparalleled standards for hygiene and charting journeys for patient care in an environment where the slightest lapse could have severe repercussions. Due to COVID-19, that journey is increasingly adopting software that facilitate things like telehealth services, digital forms and a self-service approach to patient management. Many multidisciplinary clinics are taking similar steps to limit physical interactions between their clientele while improving digital visibility.
With healthcare undergoing an intense evolutionary process, we take a closer look at how integrated payments can complement these tools, strengthening existing processes and driving long-term patient confidence.
Simplified User Experience
The healthcare and fitness industries need for comprehensive software platforms with integrated payments was a topic of discussion long before COVID-19. Tellingly, demands for more streamlined solutions have been driven by practitioners, instructors and patients alike. Where patients can often lack the transparency to understand when, why and how they will be billed, healthcare and fitness professionals are confronted with an inability to efficiently collect on those payments – resulting in an awkward experience and lost revenue.
This is where looking at healthcare and fitness as a business is important as it can be just as easy to alienate a patient as it is to alienate a valued retail customer. Although serving very different needs, both must prioritise client satisfaction. To that point, a recent ‘Trends in Healthcare Payments Report’ showed that “66% of consumers would consider switching healthcare providers for a better payments experience”. The same report also showed that 77% of patients would enrol in a self-service client portal to receive digital receipts and invoices however it is estimated that only 23% of providers offer them.
Integrated payments can help address these patient demands and make them more willing to engage with your appointments, classes or multidisciplinary services. They also give staff the opportunity to save invaluable time and resources, while increasing efficiency – enhancing the client experience from start to finish.
Flexibility is becoming an increasingly important word across the entire service sector. In the case of healthcare and fitness, it can apply to scheduling appointments or classes, virtual sessions, completing forms, access to consent and more. Of course, it also applies to billing and payment methods. Through integrated payments, software providers can easily enhance their existing solutions to reinforce a positive patient experience, tailored to their individual needs.
While patients are driving adoption of integrated payment solutions, according to our recent 60% COVID Recovery Survey, only 50% of private practices and fitness studios have implemented an integrated payments solution during COVID. Furthermore, a recent healthcare report stated that the range of payment options a clinic and class management software provider could offer was a very important consideration when selecting a solution. As patients and clients come to expect solutions that allow them to pay under more manageable terms, software providers are increasingly appreciative of the corresponding need to offer payment options that optimise for convenience, security and safety.
Packages, Subscriptions and Recurring Billing
The need for flexible payment solutions is directly tied to a growing desire to pay for appointments and classes through more convenient instalment plans such as packages and subscriptions. Looking at the UK, 52% of patients are interested in monthly instalments that consider their income and ability to pay on time.
Healthcare is a multi-trillion-pound business, making inevitable a heightened interest in software platforms that support recurring payment options. In this regard, integrated payments benefit all parties, as low- and middle-income earners will be less overwhelmed by expenses and practitioners can more reasonably manage their own expectations.
The healthcare industry is evolving at a rapid pace that necessitates industry software providers follow suit. Integrated payments are a key part of that evolution, to learn more about integrated payments on TM3 Connect – explore our slides, or start your 14-day free trial.