This episode of the MGMA Business Solutions podcast features Kelli Henthorn, regional training manager and Foundation Ambassador with Thryv, a Dallas-based small business software company.
Kelli was raised in a family that owns and operates a small business, and she has two decades of experience in sales and new business acquisitions. She found her calling with Thryv and its foundation, where she helps educate healthcare businesses on ways to automate and modernize their operations. She spoke to MGMA Sr. Editor Daniel Williams, MBA, MSEM, on improving patient expectations at your practice through technology.
Editor’s note: The following Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background in healthcare, and about your role as a Thryv Foundation Ambassador.
A: Thryv has supported practices for years, most recently providing an end-to-end patient experience platform. That’s really helping practices communicate more easily with their staff and patients and automate some of their manual tasks. At our Thryv Foundation, our goal is to empower, develop and invest in small business. We do that either online or in live events focused on education and workshops. But we have a specific focus on women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses.
Q: What is at the crux of why patient expectations aren’t being met? Is it the level of care a practice provides, or something else?
A: We have to think about how consumer expectations have changed overall, especially in the past few years. I want to communicate on my terms — I might like to talk on the phone, I might like to text, I might like to communicate on email, and I want to do it when I want to do it. That might be after hours as I finished up my workday. It’s the experience that we have from beginning to end, from the time that I’m trying to make the appointment to the time I’m going into the office. That experience is critical, because it has nothing to do with your bedside manner, or how much I love my doctor because I’ve been going for years, and I always feel so well taken care of. Our loyalty can quickly change from the frustration level we experience as we’re trying to get through that process.
Q: Have patients been spoiled by frictionless consumer interactions, whether it’s Uber or Starbucks or Amazon? Are you fine-tuning things to bring it to the level of those organizations?
A: Absolutely. We get our groceries delivered, and I can order a pizza and watch it go through the oven and know exactly when the delivery driver is going to show up at my doorstep. We expect that same level of service, flexibility, convenience … these are all very important to patients. When they don’t get that, they say, ‘why haven’t you modernized your business the way the Ubers of the world have? With an app that’s easy for me to see exactly what I need to do to see my history, and to move forward and cross that off my mental or physical to-do list?’
Q: How do we overcome the pain points about appointment scheduling?
A: Being able to automate that process for you and your staff is going to give them some time back in their day, not to mention how important it’s going to be to the patient. We get busy, we forget that kids get sick, the weather affects us, and we’ve all had such crazy things impact the way we do business and our daily activity. It’s about the flexibility to have those appointment reminders set up automatically, with the ability to change or find a new appointment time without having to wait for the provider or someone on staff to respond.
Q: What are some best practices about online reviews?
A: That is a critical piece that keeps physicians up at night, as it does with people who own small businesses. A negative review may have nothing to do with a physician’s bedside manner. It might only have to do with how troublesome it is to book an appointment, or maybe I had to wait too long in the exam room before somebody came in, and now I’m holding that against everybody. It’s important to ask for good reviews — or just ask for reviews, period — and to automate that request process so it’s not a burden on your staff or difficult for patients to access your website and submit them, especially those patients who’ve had a great experience.
Register today for Thryv’s free educational webinar, “Transforming Your Patient Experience,” scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT May 18. You can find more upcoming webinars and events at mgma.com/events.
For more in-depth learning, join us June 6-8 for the 2023 MGMA Summit, our signature online event, or register to take control of your journey by accessing sessions at your own pace through July 8. This robust and convenient learning experience features education from industry leaders covering a wide variety of challenges facing medical practices today.
Additionally, new networking opportunities will make it easy for you to meet industry peers and discuss solutions to your biggest challenges. Go to mgma.com/events/2023-mgma-summit to learn more and to register today!
Empowering healthcare professionals with advanced evidence-based clinical decision support to help improve patient outcomes. Learn more at www.DynaMedex.com.
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The MGMA Insights podcasts are produced by Daniel Williams, Camille Burch, and Rob Ketcham.
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